Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 112

1

Run Hard and Dive Deep


In Your Pursuit of God

by Sharon Carrns
Personal Response Journal
A Study Guide for Individual, Group and Leader Use
Original book cover design by Sarah Hulsey
Personal Response Journal: A Study Guide for Individual, Group and Leader Use by Sharon Carrns
Edited by Aimee Line

Personal Response Journal:


A Study Guide for Individual,
Group and Leader Use

Run Hard and Dive Deep


In Your Pursuit of God

by Sharon Carrns

Based on the book Running Into Water


by Angela Blycker

©2010 Sharon Carrns


To accompany the book Running Into Water
by Angela Blycker ©2009
ISBN-13:978-1-60657-030-2

Published 2009 by Authentic Publishing, A Ministry of Biblica


All Scripture Quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version NIV, Copyright ©1973, 1978,
1984, by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

1
Note from author Angela Blycker,

Dear Sister/s,

Perhaps I have never met you, but I have prayed for you for these past five years. When I sat down to
write in the early hours before my children woke, or at the park while they played, or in the night with the
sound of crickets moving me along, I began my work by laying you before God. I asked him to so stir your
heart in preparation that whatever small seeds he would drop in, as a result of my humble words, would
grow mighty and strong. I have asked God for a great harvest. You are a part if this. I affirm that your life
as a woman and a mother is deeply significant and influential. My respect for you is enormous. Because
of this, I have yearned to give you a feast, refusing to spoon feed it to you but inviting you to come to the
table and make it all your own.

George Frederic Handel is said to have told a friend the reason he wrote Messiah: "I should be sorry,"
Handel remarked, "If I had only entertained them. I wish to make them better." He dared to speak with the
confidence one has when they are certain that their work will help clear the way to help others enter more
deeply into God. After all, the work was a gift to him as much as it was to the greater world. This is the
hope and confidence I have for my book, Running into Water and for this study guide/response journal
you hold in your hands.

Research proves that women are the spiritual supporting structure of families, thus of entire nations. If we
falter in our depth and dedication to Christ and our families, the global generations are at stake. I believe
we, as women, are thirsty--if we really pulled away from all the distractions of this world to realize it--for
more than the common feminine fare we are offered in the buffet of "Christian" bookstores; we want our
intelligence challenged and our dignity renewed. We need words to put to what is often the theoretical
fact that in our mothering we are a part of something bigger than yourselves; we want to live with vision
and a sense of freedom and hope, our following of Jesus clarified in new ways.

This study guide/response journal is meant to facilitate all of this personally and/or in group settings. It will
help you assimilate, interact with and digest the concepts you will encounter in the book so you might get
the most out of them, making your reading personal and transformational in your life. Invite others along
with you in your deeper immersion; start groups with young and older women alike; be vulnerable and
initiate deeper conversations, prayer times and questions!

I am grateful to my two friends Sharon Carrns and Aimee Line, gifted writers as well as fellow mothers
running hard after God who worked hours to write this guide (Sharon) and who meticulously edited this
material (Aimee) so that it might be an excellent offering to God and of true service to you. They remind
me that working in community is what God designed us for all along; we need each other.

I would be delighted to hear from you personally and the specific ways God has and is using this
book/guide in your life. Like Handel, I would be sorry if I have merely entertained you, I would hope that
God makes you, through this work, "better".

Rise up and getting running! The water is fine.

Angela Blycker

www.angelablycker.com

2
Table of Contents
About the Study .................................................................................................... 4
Introduction ........................................................................................................... 5

PART I :BELIEFS

Chapter 1- God is the Gravest Belief..................................................................... 8

Chapter 2 – Following the Sage: Divine Apprenticeship ...................................... 14

Chapter 3 – The Indwelling: A Practical Mystery ................................................. 20

Chapter 4 – The Scent of the Body: The Smell of Death or Life? ........................ 25

Chapter 5 – A Brave New Worldview: Unseen Realities...................................... 32

Chapter 6 – Practicing Contemplation: The Paprika Man .................................... 38

PART II: PRACTICES

Chapter 7 – Practicing Prayer: Into Golden Bowls............................................... 42

Chapter 8 – Practicing Fasting: Training Desire .................................................. 47

Chapter 9 – Practicing Study: Recitation of the Mind .......................................... 51

Chapter 10 – Practicing Rest: Sabbath Theology ................................................ 56

Chapter 11 – Practicing Simplicity: One True Word ............................................ 60

Chapter 12 – Practicing Beauty: Intentional Submission ..................................... 66

Chapter 13 – Practicing Service: Pondering Me Less ......................................... 70

Chapter 14 – Practicing Confession: True Declarations ...................................... 74

Chapter 15 – Practicing Guidance: Where Wisdom Rides .................................. 80

Chapter 16 – Practicing Worship: A Chosen Response ...................................... 85

Chapter 17 – Practicing Celebration: Breathing is the Occasion ......................... 89

PART III :INTENTIONS

Chapter 18 – The Space between Us: Guilt Crucified ......................................... 96

Chapter 19 – A Way of Seeing: Purposed Vision .............................................. 101

Chapter 20 – Out of Our Hands: The Release .................................................. 105

Epilogue – The Sum of it All .............................................................................. 110

The Water Crisis – Join Me in Being an Advocate for the Thirsty ...................... 111
3
About the Study:
You can read a good book. You can think about the possibilities. But real things happen when
you immerse yourself deeply into the Word and the words of God. It is then that you begin to
see and apply the possibilities for your own life.

This book is not about false guilt and condemnation. Instead, it is about joy and the freedom
you will find when you pursue and apply God’s vision and design to your life.

Format:
The Personal Response Journal is written based on the 20 chapters in the book Running Into
Water. By completing one chapter a week, you will finish in 20 weeks.

The first 3 chapters will ask you to dive deep. They will take more time than the remaining
chapters, but do not become overwhelmed. The questions and your responses with build a
foundation for chapters 4 through 20.

To complete the study in 12 weeks instead of 20, follow the outline below. Weeks 1, 2, and 3
cover just one chapter each week. For weeks 4-20 you will cover 2 chapters each week.

Week 1 .................................................................................. Introduction and Chapter 1

Week 2 .............................................................................................................Chapter 2

Week 3 .............................................................................................................Chapter 3

Week 4 ................................................................................................. Chapters 4 and 5

Week 5 ................................................................................................. Chapters 6 and 7

Week 6 ................................................................................................. Chapters 8 and 9

Week 7 ............................................................................................. Chapters 10 and 11

Week 8 ............................................................................................. Chapters 12 and 13

Week 9 ............................................................................................. Chapters 14 and 15

Week 10 ........................................................................................... Chapters 16 and 17

Week 11 ........................................................................................... Chapters 18 and 19

Week 12 ...................................................... Chapter 20, Epilogue and The Water Crisis

4
INTRODUCTION
Come, come all
who are thirsty;
come to the
waters…that YOUR INVITATION
your soul
may live.
We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to
Isaiah 55:1-3
the pursuit. It is by this prevenient drawing that God takes from us every vestige of credit for
the act of coming. The impulse to pursue God originates with God, but the outworking of that
impulse is our following hard after God.
A.W. Tozer

Water is “the great fact of life, the always possible escape from dullness. The sun rose out of
it, the day began there; it was like an open door that nobody could shut. The land and all its
dreariness could never close in on you. You had only to look at the water, and you would
know you would soon be free.”
Willa Cather

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?

Running Into Water is a three-part compilation of what it may look like to run hard after
God as a woman and as a mother, even as he runs hard after us. This book is a plea to
move beyond ourselves and much of what engulfs us, to consider what it means to be a
transformed follower of Christ and of what it is to be a part of a greater global
community, raising up the next generation even as we ourselves are growing with
greater depth.

Do you have a vision of yourself running hard after God as a woman? As a mother?
Describe what it means to you to be transformed and renewed, going from one phase of
beauty to another by the God who originated such a holy idea in each of these areas:

1. Redemption of your heart:

2. Redemption of your soul:

3. Expansion of your intellect:

5
Can you grasp a vision of God running hard after you? Describe what you envision, and
the ways God pursues you.

The author says the pursuit of following Christ with authenticity has nothing to do with
the common notion presented to women that the main reason to pour into the next
generation is for who they will become. She believes that the reason we pour ourselves
into the next generation is as much for who we will be as it is for who they will become.

Describe how pouring into the next generation will transform you as a woman and a
mother.

Why do you believe your own transformation and growth will impact the next generation
– and the world?

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?


As you begin this study, write a prayer asking God to do his transforming work in you.

6
PART I:

BELIEFS

7
CHAPTER 1

GOD IS:
THE GRAVEST BELIEF

Be strong, do not DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


fear; your God
will come…he
will come to save In spite of studies showing they do not have the ability for abstract thoughts
until they are much older, children still have a God-consciousness. What is
you…Water will
gush forth in the
your first recollection of God? Is it good? Not good? Which experience(s)
helped you formulate your view?
Day 1
wilderness and
streams in the
desert. The
burning sand will
become a pool,
the thirsty
ground bubbling
springs.
Isaiah 35:4, 6-7

What do you, in your deepest heart, perceive God to be like now?

We constantly speak to our children who God is. The conversation is ceaseless, whether we
realize it or not. Our children will apply much of what they see in us to how they perceive God.
What good elements of God are they seeing in you?

You are human. You cannot possibly show your children a perfect example
of God. So when you behave in ways that do not portray God, how do you
talk about this with your children? Think of a scenario when you have not
portrayed the character of God well and write an example of how you would
Day 2
talk about this with your children.

8
In Chapter 1 we learn about Eve, a woman who says the culture of her family, through music and
singing about God’s character, developed her concepts of him. She has carried what she learned
with her through deep pain and suffering, never doubting the God she knows and loves.

What are your children learning about the character of God in your home and church? Are they
doing more than learning stories and memorizing text? Are they learning and internalizing a God
of love and grace? How?

Through her suffering, Eve never thought of blaming God or ceasing to believe in his existence.
Your reality may be different. Some of us do struggle with the temptation to blame God or even
question his existence. Turn to Psalms 6 and 13 in your Bible. Examine how King David cries out
honestly to God, hurting, questioning, and ultimately trusting. Write your own Psalm, being honest
with God about your hurts, questions, and your desire to trust him.

Consider the thought that the posture of destitution is the clearest vantage
point from which to see God. You are probably all too aware of the places
in your life where you are destitute, whether they are selfishness, Day 3
perfectionism, bruised relationships or something else.

Are you able to be destitute before him and still believe in his love? Give specific examples of his
love for you as they have played out in your life.

9
Kim, a mother of toddlers, asks God, among other requests, to show her children ―a measure of
their sin‖ in order for them to be able to also understand the power of his grace. How do you see
your children benefiting from seeing a measure of their sin?

There is a danger here of teaching your children more about shame and condemnation than the
grace and forgiveness of God. How can you make sure they see their sin through God’s loving
eyes, full of grace, and forgiving them for the places where they have shame and condemnation?

Our spirituality has very little to do with our preferred path to find God, and everything to do with
our desperate, most severe state. We must renew our reverent fear and our inescapable need of
the one true God, daring to go back to the curiosity and humility we had as a child.

What does this mean for you and where you are in your relationship with God right now?

When we look at our children with true compassion instead of pity or


obligation we are saved from burnout. You have with your children an
intimacy of trust that will grow as you grow. In your compassion for yourself
and your children you will be acting out of a vision for what you are
Day 4
becoming.

What do you envision for yourself? Your children?

Our overall well-being, including our theological beliefs and how we model them, has direct
relation to the well-being and life-long choices of our children. We cannot afford to be self-
centered, uninformed, or complacent in our beliefs about the one true God. What are your core
beliefs? Be very specific. How are you modeling them?

10
Suppose you have sinned and God is disciplining you. What is his tone of voice? What are his
facial expressions? What is his body posture?

Now suppose your child has sinned. What is your tone of voice? What are your facial
expressions? What is your body posture? It is important to define these ahead of time because
you are modeling God and how your children will perceive him.

We have a need for an intimate, inexhaustible relationship that only God


can fill. Many of us try to fill that need through marriage, friendships,
careers, hopes to help change the world, a sense of significance, or even
the bond between ourselves and our children.
Day 5
Consider each of these and any others that come to mind. What are you tempted to pursue in
order to fill your deepest need?

In Chapter 1, Eve’s deep desire for her children is that they walk with their eyes wide open to
God’s daily miracles and his consistent delight in them, in spite of the surrounding suffering, evil,
and the fact that they will grow up in a shame-based society. She believes they can live as
gospels of freedom.

Is your faith espousing freedom? Does grace exude from every message conveyed to your
children about our fallen state?

11
RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

In Chapter 1, we have been taking a deeper look at ourselves, our beliefs about who God is, and
how he wants us to approach and model life as women and mothers. Instilling these things
deeply into our hearts and minds requires the encouragement and direction of God. As you begin
this deeper journey with God, what is your prayer?

DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 1 in your book.

________________________________________________________
Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
6&7
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________

12
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
13
CHAPTER 2

FOLLOWING THE SAGE:


DIVINE APPRENTICESHIP

Whoever drinks DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


this water I give
him will never The children of a holocaust survivor evaluated their mother with less grace
thirst. Indeed the because they did not know the context by which their mother measured
water I give him every hardship thereafter. Compared to the holocaust, all else was small by
comparison. If they had known, they might have extended grace to her for
Day 1
will become in
the sins done to her, which evoked sin within her that ultimately caused sin
him like a spring
against them.
of water, welling
up to eternal life. Are there sins done to your mother that you know of? To you? What are they?
John 4:14

The children of this surviving mother were not allowed to grieve since their mother considered all
hardships small. Consider your children. Do you answer their questions with compassion? Do you
allow them to grieve their hurts? Do you grieve yours?

How many of your life experiences have you shared with your children? Have you shared enough
to help them have an understanding of your past without sharing so much that the details are too
much for a child to handle? Think about what you would like to share to help them understand
you better. As you do, resist the urge to make them your sounding board, your best friend, or your
counselor, none of which are healthy roles for a child.

If Jesus did not come only to die so we might live, but also so we might know
how to live, then it is important for us to examine how we are living. What
dominates your time, emotions, and faith? Is Jesus an integral part of your
everyday life, or is he categorized?
Day 2
14
Jesus experienced normal moments of life that slipped and ebbed away, just like we do. If we
consider that he understands life as we know it, then our minds can be at ease, resisting the urge
to beg or bargain for what will be. Think about your life right now. Are you truly asking for – and
accepting – his will for all of your days? Can you do so in peace?

God has given evidence of the brilliance of his incarnation all around us to fill us with pleasure.
What - this very day - fills you with pleasure?

Evangeline Paterson said, ―I was brought up in a Christian environment


where, because God had to be given pre-eminence, nothing else was
allowed to be important. I have broken through to the position that because Day 3
God exists, everything has significance.‖

Is there any area of your life you’ve categorized as unimportant that could be reconsidered?
Some examples might be your feelings and experiences, gifts God has given you that made you
uniquely who you are, or everyday life situations.

In Jesus’ day spirituality without tangible daily obedience was not an option. In our culture today
there is much taught about spirituality and how it makes us feel. All the while, busyness
consumes our days, as we strive for more, become involved in more, and schedule every
moment, often preventing us from doing anything of spiritual obedience. What tangible, daily
means of obedience is part of your life?
15
History and our present time give proof of two lies that have catastrophic consequences for us all:
(1) Men are superior to women, and (2) Adults are superior to children. How were you raised?
What do you embrace as truth? What will you teach your children?

As mothers, we have to evaluate with great and often painful honesty how we perceive our own
children as well as how we, ourselves, are seeking to derive a sense of identity and purpose. Are
we hiding behind our roles as mothers in order to avoid certain areas of our own growth? Or are
we failing to embrace motherhood in order to avoid the growth intrinsic to the role? Where are
you on this continuum? List the ways in which you derive your sense of identity and purpose.

As you think about the identity and purpose for yourself and your children, what do you see as
your gifts? Strengths? Theirs? Each of you is an individual uniquely designed by God. In the
weeks to come, explore the different facets of your personality and the personalities of your
children. Look for tools to help you, such as the Love Languages books by Gary Chapman, or
Kolbe Assessments (www.kolbe.com) by Kathy Kolbe to discover the natural instincts God has
placed in you. For now, list some the personality characteristics of each person in your immediate
family.

16
Jesus said, ―Whoever does not receive the reign of God as a child will not enter it.‖ Mark 10:15.
He delighted in the hearts and minds of children. Do you delight in the words and insights of your
children? Do you see their thoughts and insights as valid and important?

Jesus saw children as a precious new generation of disciples. To him, it


was imperative that they join the current of God’s reign among his people.
We say children are important in our churches. But do we mean it? Do we
include them in meaningful ways and works? Or do we tuck them away for
Day 5
―childcare with some stories‖ while we consider our own spiritual lives as a
higher priority?

Jesus redefined the care for children as a high and most intelligent holy calling. Do you? Explain.

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

We have been digging deeply as we’ve pondered our spirituality and the spirituality of our children.
The rest of the book is devoted to working this out. Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed at this
point. Our culture might label our pondering a ―guilt trip.‖ Instead, it is an intentional journey. Keep
digging deeply, and do so with a peace and sacred trust that God is with you. As you begin, what
is your prayer?

17
DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 2 in your book.
________________________________________________________ Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________ 6&7
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
18
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
19
CHAPTER 3

THE INDWELLING:
A PRACTICAL MYSTERY

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


Jesus stood and
said in a loud Sarah never experienced the embrace of unconditional love, approval and
voice, “If anyone full blessing every child needs from her alcoholic father. She was also
is thirsty, let him enduring sexual abuse. But, when she ran to her heavenly father, it was a
run to hope, pushed forward by the Spirit of God. What if you dared to let
Day 1
come to me and
yourself run toward hope? What has been done to you or withheld from you
drink. Whoever that Father God could give you?
believes in me, as
the Scripture has
said, streams of
living water will
flow from within
him.” By this
he meant the
Spirit, whom
those who
believed in him
Addiction comes when a soul is hungry for Father God’s wild and abundant love to swallow up all
were later to
pain. Is there an addiction of some kind in your life that you use to fill your hunger for God?
receive. Shopping? Food? Control? Alcohol? Power? Drugs? Unhealthy sex, fantasy relationships or
John 7:37-39 porn? Smoking? TV? Romance novels or gossip magazines? Other?

Even though Sarah eventually strayed from God’s plan for her after her
initial healing, the Spirit never stopped whispering to her to seek him. Is
there something the Spirit is whispering to you? Maybe something you’ve
drowned out or are trying not to hear?
Day 2

In many of our churches the Holy Spirit is relegated to a lesser, almost invisible role in
comparison to the Father and the Son. Yet all three are the Holy Trinity. What has been your
20
teaching and experience about the Holy Spirit? What do you believe – or think about believing –
now?

On page 35 it says ―I have come to believe that the Spirit is, much to my
surprise, located within the very heart of daily living, not limited to either
end of the spectrum.‖ What do you think this means? Day 3

The biblical woman of Samaria was of a hated race and social position, and her list of sins was
more than enough to keep respectable Jews of the day away. But Jesus drew near to her and let
her know he would fill up her incessant ache. Do you have an incessant ache? Name it, name
how it affects you, and write a request to Jesus asking him very specifically to fill it.

Children need to have an understanding of the Spirit as a very real being who was part of all
creation from the beginning to now. This helps them frame everything else in their lives with a
true understanding, instead of trying to piece things together from everyday, fragmented
experiences.

What are you, and your church, teaching your children about the Spirit? Is he more than a
sidebar? Is he a living being with the power to guide and energize our days?

21
When we examine our lives through the story of our lives we are able to
take all of our daily experiences and put them together in a way that allows
us to better comprehend and interpret them. Our life stories are the
structure by which we – and our children – interpret life. What has been
Day 4
your life story, from beginning to now? What – so far – do you see as the
story of your children’s lives?

On page 38 of your book there is an example of how to share the story of the Spirit with your
children. Read it with your children and talk about it afterward. What were their reactions?
Insights?

Sarah says of her early, pain-filled days, ―I do not know how I could have known the Spirit and his
voice as I do today if it had not been for the pain, the need, and the desolation.‖ Have you gone
through a time of pain, need, or desolation? Has it changed your relationship with the Spirit?
How?

Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit after his baptism to enter the next
stage of his ministry. He did not push and claw his way into his calling all
those years. Are you able to let go and be at peace, exactly where you are
in each step of your journey?
Day 5

22
Not one of us is God. Yet, ―we are called and divinely enabled, as frail as we are, to mother
according to, and within the Spirit. The words we speak to our children are best if they are words
of the Spirit and not of the flesh. The Spirit does not beg and lecture, does not grow impatient and
frenzied, does not obsess and demoralize, does not look at the externals and ignore the internals,
and does not change with every mood and fashion as we often do. We can guilt our children into
obedience; we can give up every earthly pleasure and necessity for their greater good, and still
not please God as women and mothers – not to mention exhaust ourselves.‖

What does all of this mean as it applies to you? In which areas of your life are you doing well? In
which areas are you struggling? List those areas. Thank God for the areas you are doing well.
Ask him for specific help in the areas you know you could grow to be a more Spirit led mother
Read Galatians 5:22-25 as you consider these areas.

Being filled with the Spirit is not a proposal of perfection. The key is that we are no longer slaves
to sin. We, through the Spirit, are being made perfect – literally, being made increasingly full of
the goodness of God. Are you gentle, loving and compassionate to yourself as you gradually
increase in the fullness and goodness of God?

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

We have been diving deeper into our understanding of the Holy Spirit and how he impacts our
lives and the lives of our children. What is your prayer for yourself and your children?

DEEPER IMMERSION: 23
Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION
questions at the end of Chapter 3 in your book.
________________________________________________________ Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________ 6&7
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________

24
CHAPTER 4

THE SCENT OF THE BODY:


THE SMELL OF DEATH OR LIFE?

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


Just as Christ
loved the church Social scientists have known for years that by the age of nine, most of the
and gave himself spiritual, and thus, moral foundations of a child are in place. By the time a
up for her to make child reaches this age, it is more difficult to change an existing view than to
form a new view. How old are your children? What are their views now?
Day 1
her holy, cleansing (Remember it is still not too late for them to experience and develop Christ-
her by the like views.) Ask them, and then consider any areas you will want to explore
washing with further with them.
water through the
word, and to
present her to
himself as a
radiant church,
without stain or
wrinkle or any
other blemish, but
holy and
blameless. The messages we take away from our Christian upbringing can be confusing, despite the noble
Ephesians 5:25-27 intentions of leaders. Children can infer that being a Christian means to reside in a prepackaged
faith, reciting proper doctrine and indulging in safe alternatives. Yet some of us – and our children
– do not accept those definitions, and want more. We believe there must be more, and we want
to find it. Is this how you feel? How and where are you searching?

We all come to a place where we need to unravel and examine our lives, giving thought to the
road behind us so we might know where we are heading. Take some time to think about the road
behind you. Where have you been? Where do you know you don’t want to go again? Where do
you want to go, God willing?

25
How passionate are you about passing the torch of faith to your children so that one day when
you step away from your piece, they will be able to take up their piece of the same faith, in a new
style and in such a way that where you leave off and they begin will be impossible to detect?
Does your passion – and your follow through – rise above other things you schedule for your
children? (Examples might be soccer, cheerleading, gymnastics, basketball, football, music,
academics, social activities, other.)

It is a fact that we can influence our children with a focused purpose,


resulting in a strategic impact on their thoughts and behaviors. Yet we crawl
and fall, trying to ―run into water‖, thirsty for more of Jesus ourselves. God
does not deny us. He satisfies our thirst and gives us more thirst. Do you
Day 2
know that you will never, ever be perfect in your mothering? You have only
to keep thirsting and keep running with tenacity. Are you OK with that? Why or why not?

Dietrich Bonheoffer wrote, ―The serious Christian, set down for the first time in a Christian
community, is likely to bring with him a very definite idea of what a Christian life together should
be and try to realize it. God’s grace speedily shatters such dreams. Just as surely as God desires
to lead us to knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely we must be overwhelmed by a
great disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and, if we are fortunate, with
ourselves.‖ Has this happened to you? Has another follower of Jesus hurt or let you down?

Have you been tempted to judge the character of God by the behavior of people? How are God
and people different?

26
Are you convinced that God loves and inhabits his global imperfect church, full of floundering
people? Do you believe he dwells among believers in a different denomination and country than
your own? What are the core truths that unite Christians internationally and of other
denominations?

You have your own convictions and traditions. But how loving are you
about them to others? How loving is your church? Would another person
see the true love of Christ in you or your particular gathering of Christ-
followers, or would they feel primarily shame and judgment? Are there
Day 3
hints of self-righteousness or subtle messages against other followers?
Explain.

Satan tempted Jesus, and still tempts us, to redeem the world and corrupt the church by power,
prestige, and the distribution of material things with great philanthropic goodness We are tempted
to employ anything but the starting point and ending point of Christ alone, anything but the
―offensive‖ cross. What does this mean? Does our own comfort and political correctness have
anything to do with this?

The fact is non-Christians may indeed be offended by the cross. They may have also been
offended by a haughty, judgmental, unloving presentation by some Christians. How can you be
honest about the cross, and loving in your presentation of the cross to others?

27
A mother’s gathering and involvement with other followers of Jesus is one of the greatest factors
in influencing a child’s immersion into Christ and later participation. Are you involved with fellow
believers, living out your faith in front of your children? Conversely, if you are involved, are you
careful to have a balance to keep your children from being turned off by too many commitments?

We can teach the tenants of our beliefs to our children through every
applicable innovation we can imagine, but as Christ followers, we are not
about religion, but a love relationship. Do you reflect the loving, inviting spirit
of Christ? Does your gathering of believers? Is there a true balance of truth
Day 4
and grace?

Imagine if the church was known more for what it stood for than what it stood against. What do
you know (and care) about the global church? How might the previous statement impact others
inside and outside of the Christian faith internationally?

The experiential and sensual elements of modern worship (music, arts, and emotion) can be a
pursuit out of proportion, but in good balance with knowledge and teaching, they can actually
accentuate all the elements of our understanding and worship of God. How much of your worship
is experiential? How much is teaching?

28
It is important that we not merely teach facts about God, but experience
what it means to walk with him on a daily basis.

Have you deliberately provided experiences for your children to ―live our
Day 5
their faith‖ on a daily basis? Is everything you say and do centered around
making much of Christ? Do you take it outside your home? Examples might be volunteering in an
act of service at your church or in the community, or visiting a website like Samaritan’s Purse
(samaritanspurse.org), Gospel for Asia (gfa.org), or New Mission Systems International
(nmsi.org) together to see how you can help. How have you – or could you – do this on a
continuing basis?

Does your immersion into Christ, lived out, mean more than going in and out of one study or
small group to another? Do you have a balance of ―being poured into‖ and ―pouring out‖ to
others?

Some Christians are perceived by those who are truly thirsty to carry the stench of death when
we, who are immersed into the fullness of God, are meant to exude the aroma of life everlasting.
What does this mean for you personally? Imagine if you were not a believer in Christ. How do you
think you would be perceived? What is the evidence of your answer? Is there someone you trust
to give you an honest answer about how you are perceived by others?

29
RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

You have had to dig very deeply into yourself and your own body of believers in this chapter. You
might feel overwhelmed. Take some time to talk with Jesus about those feelings, and allow
yourself to know that you are building awareness and a foundation for yourself and your family.
What is your prayer?

DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 4 in your book.
________________________________________________________ Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________ 6&7
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
30
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
31
CHAPTER 5

A BRAVE NEW WORLDVIEW:


UNSEEN REALITIES

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


“Where is your
faith?” he asked We’ve covered a lot of ground so far in your reading and reflecting. By now
his disciples. In you may be more aware of your thirst to live out a Spirit-filled allegiance to
fear and Jesus, first as part of a community of believers, and second as an
individual. You are a disciple, broken and made whole by the life, death and
Day 1
amazement, they
resurrection of Jesus.
asked one
another, At some time the difficulties of life may hit, and your theological standpoints may not seem like
“Who is this? He enough to carry you through adversity and your daily routines. Have you gone through a time like
commands even this in the past or are you in one right now? At what time have you found it most difficult to trust or
the winds and even believe? Did you see or feel anything differently on the other side of the adversity?
the water, and
they obey him.”
Luke 8:25

We who possess a biblical worldview are accountable to love, and such love is the artery to the
very heart of the gospel. Have you seen or felt that professed followers of Jesus have an unloving
spirit? How can you make a difference that shows love? Read and use 1 Cor. 13:1-13 as your
guide.

We are commanded to build our homes and relationships around the recognition that we are all
created in God’s image and therefore have intrinsic value. This concept is excruciatingly difficult
to honor unless empowered by something apart from ourselves. When we find nothing in others
to love, then we must love them fully because of their Creator. Is there someone or some group
of people you find difficult to love?

32
Lovingly describe how you think God intended those people to be. What
may be their gifts? Their potential? The way God views them?
Day 2

List those you struggle to love specifically, and then write a prayer asking God to help you love
them.

Relating to our children in a way that reflects God’s values of love, honor and mercy is powerful
and completely God-like. In fact, our interactions with our children help them shape how they may
see God as a parent. It will be much easier for them to see God as loving and merciful, instead of
having to fight back the image of a harsh, disconnected, or otherwise negative view of God.

When you discipline your children is it done in love, honor and mercy? Is it done with the goal of
training and teaching, or merely the goal of punishment and condemnation?

God distinguishes the sound of our thoughts, the thoughts of others, and
our children’s thoughts. What do you think about your children’s thoughts,
right here and right now, even as they are immature children? What do you
think God thinks of them?
Day 3

It is important for us to create time and space for ourselves and our children to both learn facts
about God, as well as experience God and the work of the Holy Spirit. How do facts and

33
experience differ? For example, you may teach your children the fact that God made the sun.
How, then, do you describe the beauty of a sunset created by God?

Satan, the god of this world, opposes and condemns followers of Christ relentlessly. Do you live
with this awareness? He steals joy and speaks lies. What are the lies he has spoken to you? He
knows your vulnerable spots – places you are more likely to believe lies. What are they?

Satan also speaks lies to your children. What might some of those lies be?
How do you counteract those both in prayer, but also in speaking truth to
your children about his lies? Day 4

Some of the biggest lies Satan has told us have to do with our significance as women in our
various roles. Deep down, are there any roles in your life where you feel insignificant?
(Remember, your roles are not your identity.) What may be causing those feelings?

We have been created so we might be counted precious in God’s sight. Our salvation is for his
pleasure. We have nothing to prove. We are souls at rest. Nothing we can do will make us any
more significant to God than who we are in this moment. Do you receive this truth? Are there
places you struggle to feel precious and significant to God?

34
When our gifts, strengths, interests, and talents are trained and used in
combination with competence, character, and the intent to honor God, then
the inner desperation and anxiety is cast out because there is simply no
room for it. To live, not as self-centered and self-empowered, but as Christ-
Day 5
centered and Christ-powered, is the truth that sets us free. Reflect on
where you see yourself at this time, and where you would like to see yourself.

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?


You have been immersing yourself deeply in seeking who God has longed for you to be. Ask God
to help you embrace what has been revealed to you, and to have a contented spirit as you
continue to grow into that person.

DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 5 in your book.
________________________________________________________ Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________ 6&7
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________

35
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
36
PART 2:

PRACTICES

37
CHAPTER 6

PRACTICING CONTEMPLATION:
THE PAPRIKA MAN

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


As the deer
pants for As you begin Part 2, putting all that you have been learning into practice,
your heart has been made ready as a farmer prepares and churns up rich
streams of
water, so my soil so something of worth may be dropped into it and take strong root.
Reflect on how you have grown so far. What do you see? What do you
Day 1
soul pants for feel? What have you already put into practice?
you, O God.
My soul thirsts
for God, for
the living God.
Psalm 42:1-2

Western culture, particularly in Europe, has moved toward discounting motherhood. The subtle lie
is that to be all we can be as women means to be childless. Do you wrestle with this lie at times?

What images do you have when you think of meditation? Is quiet


contemplation part of your commitment as a disciple (a learner) of Jesus?
Day 2

King David prayed, ―May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in
your sight.‖ Joshua commanded the people of Israel to meditate on the law (the teachings of
God) day and night. How do you think these meditations were actually carried out?

38
Meditation on truth is crucial for the imaginations of our children. This is one
reason to be very careful regarding what is allowed to enter their mind
space, training them to guard their hearts and minds and be alive to wonder
and creativity. Is it difficult to monitor what enters this space? Are you able Day 3
to think critically and be discerning about the worldviews that are being fed
to your children through media? How are you able to do this without
shutting them off from the world?

There has been a rising interest and activism regarding the effects of
consumerism and technology on the formation of children. A movement by
concerned, nurturing mothers has arisen to rally against such value
systems and targeted marketing. How much could meditation in your life
Day 4
and contemplation of Christ and the rich truths in Scripture deflect these
very secular values and tendencies?

Do you agree with the idea that we must address our own thirst first before
we seek to lead our children to pure water? Why?
Day 5

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

Read the prayer on page 78 of your book, and then write your own prayer in the specific areas
you need God’s direction and help.

39
DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 6 in your book. Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
6&7
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________

40
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
41
CHAPTER 7

PRACTICING PRAYER:
INTO GOLDEN BOWLS

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


Since we have
confidence to Every one of us was created for a race. We were made to follow, to train, to
enter the Most become fit to go forward and make history, clearing the way for the
Holy Place by the generations. When we lose this focus and swim around the pool in
nonsensical ways, something within us slowly dies. From childhood to now,
Day 1
blood of Jesus, by
what has been your life’s ―race?‖
a new and living
way opened for
us through the
curtain, that is
his body, and
since we have a
great priest over
the house of
God, let us draw
near to God with
a sincere heart in Your race has great gravity; your miniscule pinpoint on the timeline of human history means
something to the One who thrust you forth for such a time as this. It means something to those he
full assurance of
planted you in the midst of, and for the history of those to follow. Is there a person in your history
faith, having our who means something to you? Is there someone – or more than one – God has placed in your
bodies washed life for you to mean something to?
with pure water:
Let us hold
unswervingly to
the hope we
profess, for he
who promised is
faithful. Hebrews
10:19-23
In Brennan Manning’s book A Ruthless Trust, he wrote about how relatively
easy it is to say that we love God, but how much more difficult it is to say
that we trust him. If the greatest thing you can do for your children is to
entrust them to God through prayer, how does that show love and trust in
Day 2
God?

In the case of your children, is this difficult for you? What if God allows a path you would not
choose for your children?
42
Our children are created for a much higher purpose than for our own joy, though they rightly bring
us joy. If we cannot entrust them to God, we bypass our own purification. What is within us will
never be brought to the surface for refinement. We will never be free from fear when it comes to
our children and our mothering practice. What do you think all of this means?

After a personal search of her heart, the author’s prayer for her son was, ―I
choose to trust you with my son and partner with you in the work you choose
to do in and through him. I release my expectations for what I think will
benefit him in his formative years. I give you permission to work in our family
Day 3
to grow us by whatever means you see fit. I will trust you.‖ Would it be
difficult for you to pray this prayer? To mean it? Why?

Most people understand prayer as people speaking to God in order to make a request, or to
commune or fellowship with him. Intercessory prayer, however, is a unique type of prayer offered
to God on behalf of others. Without prayers of intercession we will miss the heart of God and the
purposes he longs to bring forth in our children, homes, churches, cities and nations. How can
you intercede for your children in prayer? Your home? Churches? Cities? Nation?

At times we can feel a great weight – a burden – upon us and mistake it for
depression or thoughts that make no sense. In reality, we may be feeling a
call to come to the Spirit and ask him to intercede in prayer for people or
issues.
Day 4
43
Think about times you have felt depressed or wondered if your thoughts and feelings just made
no sense. Could it be that you were being beckoned to pray?

You go to God on behalf of your children. And there are times when you may be called to go to
God in prayer on behalf of another mother’s children. Do you have mutually trusting relationships
in your life that you can turn to? Can others turn to you? Name them specifically.

Part of your role as a mother is to intercede for your children. Another part is
to teach them to become intercessors. Praying aloud over your children is a
good way to teach them, even if it is initially awkward for you or them.
Day 5
Think about how you will tell your children you intend to do this so they are
aware ahead of time, and write what you will say to them below. Follow
through on this conversation and prayer later.

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?


Read from the last paragraph on page 88 in your book to the beginning of the last paragraph on
page 89. Make a bullet-point list of all of the areas the author has listed to pray for your children.
Copy this list on a 3x5 card and begin regularly praying for your children in these areas. Pray for
God’s help for you and your children.

44
DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 7 in your book.
________________________________________________________ Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
6&7
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
45
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
46
CHAPTER 8

PRACTICING FASTING:
TRAINING DESIRE

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


They all ate the
same spiritual food Biblical fasting arises from the heart, as urged by the Holy Spirit. Fasting
and drank the same can mark humble repentance, transform prayers, and result in personal
spiritual drink: for revival, revelation and discernment. When coupled with prayer it can bring
immense outcomes.
Day 1
they drank from
the spiritual rock What have you learned about fasting? (Author Richard Foster teaches about fasting in his book
that accompanied Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth. If you have never learned about fasting,
them, and that rock check out this book or another reference.)
was Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:3

Just as we train our bodies and minds, fasting teaches us to train our desires. It exposes thoughts
and lies we have held onto. Christ said the truth would set us free. This includes the truth that we
can be a slave to all that is good and true. What do you think it means to be a slave to all that is
good and true? Is that good?

How can you be sure you don’t take being a slave to all that is good and
true beyond the point God intends, making yourself and your family slaves
to human effort? Day 2

Catherine Stonehouse wrote, ―To say that children are spiritual beings
does not assume that they are ready for spiritual disciplines (such as
fasting) or that they can be expected to consider what pleases God in all Day 3
47
their interactions. Often children experience God in fleeting moments of awareness and may not
be fully conscious of the encounter. Such glimpses of God, however, and the joy, peace and
insight of those glimpses, germinate within the child and someday may come into the full bloom of
conscious love for God.‖

Have you observed your children seeing glimpses of God? Do you allow your children to be
children? What are your spiritual expectations of them?

In her prayer at the end Chapter 8, the author asks God to show her the
root of all her desires and enable her to uncover her children’s desires,
meeting them and steering them as necessary. Day 4
Are any of the desires of your children apparent to you? Spiritual areas?
Material things? Belongings? Entertainment?

Are there any desires you need to help meet? To steer or curb in another direction?

People begin to value most what they are thirsty for. It is important for you
to value what your children thirst for. How can you show them value,
steering them when you need to, without shaming them or shutting down
their voice?
Day 5

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?


48
Chapter 8 has caused you to take a closer look at fasting, as well as the desires fasting or regular
daily life reveal. As you begin to pray, list the desires that are most important to you. Ask God to
reveal those desires to you. Ask him if the desires are in the direction and balance he desires.

DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 8 in your book.
Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________ 6&7
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________

49
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
50
CHAPTER 9

PRACTICING STUDY:
RECITATION OF THE MIND

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


Oh God, you are
my God, There is a correlation between shame and learning. It has nothing in this
earnestly I seek case to do with our moral failure. Instead, it is the result of our
you; my soul vulnerabilities and deficiencies being exposed. The child who feels shame
experiences feelings of inadequacy, and a deficiency in their own ―being‖.
Day 1
thirsts for you,
Out of this comes doubt, and if ignored, a fear that rules their life. All they
my body longs were created to be will be limited.
for you, in a dry
and weary land Did you feel this way as a child? Is there part of you that has remained hidden away, kept from
where there is no being all you were created to be?
water.
Psalm 63:1

Every woman has spent time as a prisoner to shame, and later fear. There are many paths to this
prison, including familial backgrounds, unspoken or spoken rules, bodies that are too bony or too
plump, lack of money, erratic behavior of loved ones, lack of education or competence,
personality limits, or sins committed. In what areas has shame or resulting fear been your prison?

Ironically, shame leads not to humility, but to pride – the worst kind of self-
pity and arrogance that deceives all those around us as we try to prove we
are worthy to other people. Have you found yourself trying to prove your
worth at some time in your life? Who are you most likely to try to impress?
Day 2
Why?

51
Shame robs us of having a teachable spirit because it can take away our courage. A teachable
heart requires courage.

A person who lacks courage and a teachable heart can hide behind arrogance; arrogance and a
teachable heart do not go together.

Are there places where you appear (or are) arrogant, and because of this, unteachable?

Shame grips us in self-worship instead of God-worship. When our minds


are set on God-worship, we have the courage to be exposed as learners,
and not as immediate masters. We are free to acknowledge that there is
not a disconnect between holiness and the life of minds that are open to
Day 3
training and technique. In what ways has God called you to think?

One of our greatest callings as mothers is to unleash freedom on our children to explore the world
with wisdom, awe, and courage. Part of this freedom will be learned by seeing us free from
shame ourselves. In what areas are you free from shame and confident?

Where do you see your children free and confident? Where don’t you? Why?

The knowledge we gain, and the beliefs that result, go together. Knowledge
in the biblical sense is very different than mere knowing. It is seeing what is
implied and then acting on it. Knowledge, like obedience, must move us. It Day 4
52
must become transformational, or it is mere information, never amounting to wisdom.

What are you reading, watching, investigating, and learning? How are these things shaping and
expanding your knowledge, and influencing your actions?

In Jesus’ time, study was actually the highest form of worship. But we have grown very lazy in the
area of study. We need study, the kind that leads us beyond meditation to analysis and critical
thought. Alan Wolfe wrote, ―Of all American religious traditions, evangelical Protestantism ranks
dead last in intellectual stature.‖ This wasn’t always so. How does our lack of study give Satan a
tool?

In an address at the Billy Graham Center, Charles Malik stated, ―The


problem is not only to win souls, but to save minds. If you win the whole
world, and lose the mind of the world, you will discover you have not won
the world. Indeed, it may turn out you have actually lost the world.‖
Day 5
What does this mean? Do you see evidence of this today in the decline of Christianity in many
parts of the world?

As women and mothers we must live in the freedom of a mind open to learning. Beginning with
Mary, sister of Martha (Luke 10:38-42), Jesus encouraged women to learn. Mary was validated in
her desire to sit at Jesus feet and become a disciple.

What are you learning? What do you want to learn? Begin a simple, but specific plan below.
Include the Bible in your plan. (A very good place to begin is with a Life Application Study Bible,
which includes all Scripture, as well as study notes created by a panel of biblical scholars,
explaining history, context, customs of the time, and more.)

53
RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

You have begun to make a study plan. Take that plan to God as you pray. Ask him to help you
determine what to study, and to complete the plan. Ask him to show you how to teach your
children as well.

DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 9 in your book.
________________________________________________________
Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
6&7
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
54
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
55
CHAPTER 10

PRACTICING REST:
SABBATH THEOLOGY

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


The Lord is my
shepherd; I shall Whether we are wired to be task-oriented or people-oriented, most of us
not be in want. fear leading insignificant lives. We are told by our culture that to leave a
He makes me lie legacy of significance we must dedicate ourselves to productivity with
quantifiable, documented results. Our exhaustion testifies to this reality.
Day 1
down in green
pastures, he Would you say this is true of you? Why or why not?
leads me beside
quiet waters, he
restores my soul.
Psalm 23:1-2

Incessant work without a respite goes against the grain of the created order. The true biblical
understanding of rest is not to relax or rejuvenate, but to cease or desist from exertion. God, the
author of rest, has no need to relax or rejuvenate as a weary body or soul. Thus, there must be a
deeper implication for the meaning of rest if he himself enters into it and becomes rest to us.
What do you think that meaning might be?

What is your Sabbath like?

If being immersed in Christ redefines every aspect of our living, then it must
also redefine our attempted rest and leisure. We must examine our modes
of stress relief. What is it that we are seeking to alleviate or fill? Day 2
56
What is the difference between relief from stress and being filled? Why does the motive matter?
Does being filled exclude having fun?

We will find rest and all we need when we let ourselves slip into Jesus’ life
for us, and let him move through us. Spiritual immaturity considers Jesus a
helper. Spiritual maturity knows him to be life itself. What do you think this
means?
Day 3

We live a life with so many possibilities to choose from. Too many


possibilities presented to us and our children kills the delight each thing was
intended to bring. We don’t seem to be comfortable with rest. And when we
seek rest for our children, they profess lack of interest because of their
Day 4
conditioning in our over-stimulating culture. Something is wrong with this.
What is it?

What do we do about it?

57
After God established his creation, he rested. It is no small thing that God
ceased to create on the seventh day and called all he had made good,
pronouncing the first blessing. He controlled his work; it did not control
him.
Day 5
Ask yourself honestly if you are in tune with God in controlling your life, or is your life actually
controlling you? Explain.

God enjoys his relationships with the people he has made. How might he want to engage with
you and your children in your specific times of Sabbath as he enjoys you?

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

Search your heart and mind with God. Ask him to reveal to you the ways he wants you to find rest
and enjoy your relationship with him.

DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 10 in your book.
________________________________________________________
Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
6&7
58
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
59
CHAPTER 11

PRACTICING SIMPLICITY:
ONE TRUE WORD

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


The mouth of the
righteous is a In the biblical story of Job, this faithful servant of God loses everything. His
fountain of life. friends take less time to listen than to speak. They all insist on fitting what
Proverbs 10:11 happened to Job into their personal frameworks concerning God and how
he relates to his creation. In their structures his friends make the calamity
Day 1
intelligible, as humans have the relentless need to make all tragedy
The words of a understandable.
man’s mouth are
like deep waters, Are you inclined to fill the ―quiet moments‖ when someone is hurting? ―Is it better to give words
but the fountain when listening, or to admit there is no human explanation for some situations?‖
of wisdom is a
bubbling brook.
Proverbs 18:4

Have there been times when you have had to accept that there are situations and events you do
not understand? When?

Job ultimately questions God. But God declines to be held accountable for pain to Job or anyone
else. Why do you suppose we sometimes blame God? Have you blamed God?

Job finally responds with humility, repenting of his attitude and


acknowledging God’s great justice and power. He chooses to trust God with
all he cannot understand. This is no simple act. Have you been able to do
the same in situations you have lived through?
Day 2
60
The author speaks of her own journey of learning to communicate as God desires. She has
learned we must use our mouths as followers of Christ, retraining them to be not merely the
means of narcissistic, opinionated self-expression, but of true service to others. How can our
mouths be of service to others?

If we are to serve others with our communication, our objective is that we listen to understand
others, not just spout off so that we are certain others understand us. Do you know people whose
objective seems to be to spout off? Take an honest look at yourself. Is that person ever you?
When? How?

Some of our evaluative language is gossip. At times it is wrongly justified


in statements like, ―I’m only telling you this because we need to pray.‖ And
at times it is outright gossip. Is gossip tempting to you? Day 3

How do you respond when someone tells you something ―to pray‖ or flat out gossip? Describe
what you could say in response.

61
There is a fine line between critical thinking and being a habitual critic. Not only do activities of
gossip, slander, and constant criticism point to an evil tongue, but also to lazy language skills. We
are not entitled to shoot off our mouths or indulge others in this. Describe the difference between
critical thinking and the sins of gossip, slander, and constant criticism.

In light of the fact that we are constant teachers of our children, we must be women of powerful
and true words. This is a struggle for many of us. But the resurrected life must include the pursuit
of resurrected language, or it is a mere shadow of all the abundance Christ died to claim.

As a mom, do you pound the points home, or do you choose your words with wisdom? Where
would you put yourself on a scale of 1 to 10? List some examples of areas where you are doing
well, and some areas you are working on.

We have never truly taken something into our hearts until it transforms
our lives. We must be careful of what we take in, then, for no one is
immune to influence, and our lives will eventually bear witness. The
external will always follow the internal; thoughts are first, words are
Day 4
second, and actions are the outcome.

What are you taking in? What are your children taking in?

As mothers, we need to remember that communication is not only the ability to talk, but to listen.
Perhaps the finest art of communication is not in learning how to properly express our thoughts to
our children, but learning how to draw out their thoughts. When have you last asked your children
for their thoughts?

62
If asked, would your children say you a good listener? Really interested in their lives? Or are you
more apt to lecture and focus mostly on rules and your own thoughts?

There is an inexplicable staying power in our words – the power of life


and death (Proverbs 18:21). We can all testify to the effects of bitter
words and emotions – what we wish we had or had not said, or what
was said to us. We have all been wounded by words.
Day 5
Where are your wounds? Scars? Write them down, and then write
Jesus’ response to those words. Use individual cards if needed.

For each of your children, write two or three sentences you will use to encourage and affirm them.
Make sure your words are true and specific. Later, communicate these words to your children.

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

You’ve been examining the power and influence of words in your life. Pray for freedom from
wounding words, both in yourself and your children. Pray for discernment in your words. Pray for
blessings for yourself, your children, and others your life.

63
DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 11 in your book.
________________________________________________________
Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
6&7
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
64
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
65
CHAPTER 12

PRACTICING BEAUTY:
INTENTIONAL SUBMISSION

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


The Lord will
guide you Dictionaries cumulatively define beauty in terms of the quality that gives
always; he will pleasure to the mind or senses, and is associated with such properties as
satisfy your harmony of form or color, excellence of artistry, truthfulness, and originality.
It surpasses sappiness or glossy amusement. It defines itself in the
Day 1
needs in a sun-
experience of what we might call glory.
scorched land
and will In our culture the definition of beauty is far less than this description. Instead, it is labeled as ―hot‖
strengthen and ―sexy‖. Beauty is reduced to the power of lust and the worship of sex appeal. Why?
your frame.
You will be
well-watered,
like a spring
whose waters
never fail.
Isaiah 58:11

How would you define beauty? How do you feel about the way beauty is defined in our culture?

Our sense of beauty is just a taste of what is beautiful. The value of beauty
lies in the fact that it is a reflection of Christ. He created us in his image and
as a means of pointing people to himself. What do you think this means? Day 2

The value of beauty is short-changed when beauty becomes an end to itself. What does it mean
for beauty to become ―an end to itself?‖

66
If we are followers of Christ, our bodies are not our own. We release our
bodies back to God and give him full authority. We are no longer to idolize
our bodies, making them a primary concern, or to use them to dominate,
control, manipulate others, or as simply a source of sexual gratification.
Day 3
Describe what it means to idolize or use our bodies.

How can you have a Godly, healthy perspective on your body or the bodies of others without
living in a closed off, out of touch world? What standards will you set?

To present our bodies to the world to elicit sexual thoughts, feelings, and
actions from others is a form of dumbing down our intended beauty.
Scripture says our very countenance will speak of what is internal. Day 4
What do you feel is your dominant inner countenance? Are there any
areas where you struggle?

How could we make the latest fads, best new beauty products, clothes, weight, and other body
obsessions second to God? What would it mean to give them in a great pile to God?

67
We have given over the authority of our bodies to God. He has the right to
govern, lead and rule them. This is not a surrender that steals joy. We do
not necessarily have to give up our personal styles and preferences. Those
expressions are another branch of a God-given creativity and celebration of
Day 5
beauty. Submission to God enhances our beauty as nothing else can.

What are your styles and expressions?

Explain how you believe God has made you beautiful. (And he has made you beautiful!)

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

Write a prayer asking God to help you see beauty as he sees it. Ask him to help you see the
beauty he has created in you.

DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 12 in your book.
________________________________________________________
Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
6&7
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
68
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
69
CHAPTER 13

PRACTICING SERVICE:
PONDERING ME LESS

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


The poor and
needy search for We are often the hands and feet of our God, who does not demean the
water, but there least among us. No matter what our need is – material, emotional, physical
is none; their or spiritual – we are still needy. Serving others does not mean that we are
water for their thirsty souls, but that we have found where the water is.
Day 1
tongues are
parched with Has someone helped you find the water in a time of material, emotional, physical or spiritual
thirst. But I, the need?
Lord will answer
them; I, the God
of Israel will not
forsake them; I
will make rivers
flow on barren
heights, and
springs within
the valleys. I will
An immersion into Christ is meaningless without the action of social justice. Social justice is the
turn the desert
concept that God’s justice should be brought to every aspect of society. Have you helped
into pools of someone find water when they had a material, emotional, physical or spiritual need?
water; and the
parched ground
into springs.
Isaiah 41:17-18

“You call me
‘teacher’, and
‘Lord,’ and rightly
so for that is
what I am. Now We must not forget that the early church not only preached the gospel of
salvation, but also practiced doing away with social distinctions by giving
that I, your Lord
and Teacher,
to anyone who had need. The two must go together, for they have the
power to meet the needs of the eternal soul and the human experience. Day 2
have washed This shows that all people are sacred, and draws others into a true
your feet, you immersion into God.
should also wash
one another’s Where would you place your beliefs and actions in these areas? Where would you place the
actions of your church?
feet. I have set
an example that
you should do as
I have done for
you.” John 13:13-
15

70
There is a joy of coming into relationship with those we seek to serve. They often have just as
much to give to us as we think we have to impart to them. Have you felt joy in giving? When?

Have you experienced the feeling of receiving as a result of your giving?

God’s idea of imparting social justice in a sin-shattered world is to multiply


the number of those who pursue justice in their own relationships. They do
this because they have been created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for them to do, as the Bible tells us in
Day 3
Ephesians 2:10.

Neither poverty nor the world's injustices are most important. Christ is the most important thing.
Explain what you believe this means, and how it affects the way we live.

One way to train the vision of serving God in serving others is to train this
vision into our children by teaching them to serve one another within their
home – to serve not out of feelings, but out of choice. What are some ways
you could lovingly and intentionally teach your children to serve?
Day 4

How does learning to serve at home prepare them to serve later?

71
Ronald Sider, author and president of Evangelicals for Social Action wrote,
―History has proven that the effects of sinful societal injustice can be
conquered.‖ He cites examples like the Anabaptists who stood for religious
freedom, the writers of the United States Constitution, Solidarity’s Polish
Day 5
workers triumphing over the former Soviet Union, and activists who brought
the downfall of Apartheid in South Africa.

God must be pleased to witness these triumphs over injustice and evil. But our service to conquer
evil must not be motivated by a sense of human decency or a desire to create a utopia. Instead, it
must be out of love for Christ and a desire to express his love to the world. How could you
practically apply this concept to your own acts of service?

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

As Christians we are called to serve out of gratitude for God. Our service is lived out in our
families, children, communities, nation and world. Write a prayer asking God to open your eyes to
the ways he wants you to serve, letting your life be all about him.

DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 13 in your book.
________________________________________________________ Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________ 6&7
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
72
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
73
CHAPTER 14

PRACTICING CONFESSION:
TRUE DECLARATIONS

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


“I will sprinkle
clean water on In the moments after her grandfather’s death, the author sat alone at his
you, and you will side. She began to lay down all of the pain and struggle she had carried
be clean; I will throughout her life in family memories, spoken and unspoken words,
actions, emotions, disappointments, failures, bondage, fear and anger. It
Day 1
cleanse you from
was a time of confession for her. She declared all that was good and true,
all your and all that was not.
impurities and
from all your Are there places inside of you that hold some of the same struggles? What are they?
idols. I will give
you a new heart
and put a new
spirit in you; I will
remove from you
your heart of
stone and give
you a heart of
flesh. And I will
Confession draws a line of separation between what is good and true, and what is not. It brings
put my Spirit in out all that has been harbored into the light of day. When we harbor sin, we sense only
you and move condemnation. When we confess it, we sense release. What does this mean for you?
you to follow my
decrees and be
careful to keep
my laws.”
Ezekiel 36:25-27

Does confession and release mean accepting or excusing what is wrong?

While the world may not recognize it, we have been in school. Life, marriage, and mothering have
been our schools of sanctification. We must enter daily confessional booths for coming to terms
with and all Christ is. Have you experienced times of sanctification when you realized Christ was
all, and you were not? When?

74
When it comes to mothering, we often believe that connecting ―exactness‖
to godliness in our own lives and the lives of our children fills a ―holiness
gap‖ that God requires. We work so hard training and instructing our
children in order to shorten the distance to faultless performance. This
Day 2
exhausting effort makes many mothers feel as though they are doing a
decent job.

Do you strive in this way? How? Why?

God never wanted or expected us to be all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-sustaining like he is.
Instead, God wants to be those things for us in intimate relationship with us. Does this make you
feel less pressure? Why?

Is it easy or difficult for you to allow God to be these things in your relationship with him? Why or
why not?

Satan tempted Eve to try to become like God, ultimate perfection. He continues tempting us. This
renunciation of God’s gracious provision for us wreaks havoc on our days and our behavior. It
steals the restored relationships with God and others for which we were created. If we were able
to bridge the gap to attain these relationships, we would not need Jesus.

Do you struggle with perfectionism? Are your relationships affected?

75
Confession opens up the opportunity for God to work on a deeper level. As
C.S. Lewis said, ―All that really needs to be done in our souls can only be
done by God.‖ We can try to improve, but improvement is not redemption. Day 3
Are you able to accept and rest in this truth? Is there an area in your life
where confession would allow God to work in you on a deeper level?

The less we confess, the more we believe we are in control. We avoid all confrontation and
humble admittance, blaming others for our own sin. We live on the defense, and are easily
offended, standing up for our rights. We shut down others and become an unsafe place for others
to approach. Nothing about us reflects a teachable, emerging life.

Do you know anyone like this?

Are you like this?

What can often hinder our true confession is our deep-rooted anger – anger
that says I am owed something; I was cheated out of what I deserved.
Stubborn anger holds on until the wrong is made right. But it is confession,
the admittance of what is true, that often ushers in freedom. Day 4
If you have been wounded – if you hold deep anger – write down the
offense(s), and then write what is true about yourself in the light of God’s plan for your life. This
does not mean what was done to you was right. Rather, it means that as a true child of Christ,
you can let go of the destructive attitudes that have resulted from the wrongs done to you.

76
As mothers we can walk our children through the steps of confession, forgiveness, and blessing.
We do this by modeling it for them when we sin against them and others, and when others sin
against us. This habit establishes a good life-long practice of keeping short accounts. It will keep
their hearts alive with the truth that it is not only sin that God forgives, but us.

Have you modeled this habit for your children? How can you teach them to confess and forgive,
and still help them learn to create Godly boundaries against abusive behavior that sometimes
occurs in this world?

Our culture focuses on the personal power of women. Womanhood and motherhood are not
celebrated, as many proponents simply reject any differences between men and women,
believing the body reveals nothing and femininity is not a cause for celebration. They believe
women are to construct their own sexuality and their own roles and callings as they please.

This false creature-centered declaration has not brought a sense of peace and freedom. God
celebrates women and mothers. Write the truth about who you are meant to be as a woman, and
who you are not meant to be.

God has gifted each woman. Women need to grow in their gifts unhindered, out of loving service
to God and others, the motivation of their hearts being pure. This looks different in the life of each
woman. How has God created and gifted you?

Finally, we must declare blessings on women globally, enabling them to train, nurture and instruct
their children without the pressure of poverty and the accusation that they are intellectually inept
77
or stagnant. This would be a confession leading to action that could transform the nations, affect
the generations, and reflect God’s own tenderness toward women.

What do you think this means?

Do you believe your words and prayers can make a difference?

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

Write a prayer containing the words of blessing you wish God to bestow on women globally.

DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 14 in your book. Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
6&7
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
78
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
79
CHAPTER 15

PRACTICING GUIDANCE:
WHERE WISDOM RIDES

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


By wisdom the
Lord laid the Wisdom is not something that is beyond us. Instead, it is a hands-on word
earth’s of utmost sensibility. It serves as a guide to our days, putting into practice
foundations, by not only knowing the right thing, but also doing it. It is an essential element
to our immersion into Christ as his followers.
Day 1
understanding he
set the heavens Have you thought of wisdom as being beyond your reach? Impractical? Why?
in place; by his
knowledge the
deeps were
divided, and the
clouds let drop
the dew.
Proverbs 3:19-20

Since wisdom is practical to this world, and not just otherworldly, in what ways have you learned
to be wise? What experiences have been part of gaining this wisdom?

The author has learned from watching other people, like women who
maneuver life, multitasking through their days with determination, flow, and
creativity. She has also learned by watching her husband use his carpentry
talent, and the mentors in her life who share how they handled a rough
Day 2
work or family situation with peaceable wisdom and diplomatic virtues.

Who has been a source of wisdom in your life? Why?

Wise people are those who are wonderfully immersed in Christ. They have shown that they live
by the Spirit, seeking him out instead of human opinion. As counselors, they exhibit the biblical
meaning of wisdom and are like-minded in understanding your ultimate goals.
80
Not every confessed follower of Jesus will display these particulars. Has someone in your life
professed to be wise, only to be found without true wisdom? What will you look for in a person for
wise counsel next time?

Richard Foster, in his best-selling book entitled Celebration of Discipline:


The Path to Spiritual Growth, highlights the need for greater corporate
guidance. As we discern the mind of God in our churches today, the
practices of fasting, prayer, and corporate worship are largely missing.
Day 3
Matthew 18:19-20 says, ―For where two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be
done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there
am I in the midst of them.‖ Is there a ―midst of people‖ who will seek God’s voice with you
corporately?

Does your church seek corporate guidance as part of discerning God’s voice?

Based on the Scripture quoted in the question above, why is it important for the people who are
seeking God to be the kind of people who are truly immersed in Christ? Why do you think some
people become very disheartened if God does not answer in the way they have asked?

Hannah Whitall Smith, a Quaker born in 1832, wrote, ―We must believe
that we will receive Divine guidance when we ask for it. God may guide
you in paths where he knows great blessings are awaiting you, but which Day 4
81
to the short-sighted human eyes around you seem to result in confusion and loss.‖

Has there been a time when you knew you were doing what God called you to do, even though it
made no sense to others – or to you?

She advised there are four special ways God speaks, ―By the voice of
Scripture, the voice of the inward impressions of the Holy Spirit, the voice
of our own higher judgment, and the voice of providential circumstances.
Where these four harmonize, it is safe to say, God speaks.‖
Day 5
Have you experienced a time when the four ways God speaks were in harmony?

Are you seeking God’s voice for something now?

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

Write a prayer asking God to give you wisdom – the ability to have good use of knowledge.

82
DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 15 in your book.
________________________________________________________
Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
6&7
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
83
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
84
CHAPTER 16

PRACTICING WORSHIP:
A CHOSEN RESPONSE

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


Deep calls to
deep in the roar In the midst of deep lament over the loss of her child, the author was
of your surprised to be confronted with the proposal of worship. It was not an effort
waterfalls; all to put on a forged smile or pretend all was well. Instead, following the
example of the Israelites who bowed down and worshiped despite their
Day 1
your waves and
misery in slavery, she chose to incorporate lament into her response to
breakers have God. Like the Israelites, she chose to believe that God was concerned about her, and saw her
swept over me. misery. She chose to bow down and worship.
By day the Lord
directs his love, Has there been a time in your life when you were in deep misery? How did you respond to God?
in the night his
song is with me –
a prayer to the
God of my life.
Psalm 42:7-8

It is significant that the Israelites did not demand their freedom before
worshiping. If you were to experience deep suffering again what would be
your response? Day 2

Dan Allender wrote: “A lament is truly asking, seeking, and knocking to comprehend the heart of
God. A lament involves the energy to search, not to shut down the quest for truth. It is passion to
ask, rather than to rant and rave with already reached conclusions. A lament uses the language
of pain, anger, and confusion and moves toward God.‖

What does this mean for you? Are you comfortable talking to God in this way? Why or why not?

85
Allender also wrote: ―Worship truly involves bringing every dimension of our lives to him, not
forsaking the struggles of life to worship, but worshiping in the midst of our struggles…lament
opens the heart to wrestle with a God who knows that sorrow leads to comfort and lament moves
to praise as sure as the crucifixion gave way to resurrection.‖

Have you experienced crying out to God in sorrow and finding comfort? Did you want to praise
God, even if your circumstances were painful? Describe your experience.

Immersion into Jesus, even in and because of our brokenness, releases


us to worship, and through worship God communicates his presence to
us. It is the kind of worship that not only is the balm for our troubled
hearts, but also penetrates our daily routines, making our actions more
Day 3
than boring work. Worship makes folding laundry, wiping counters,
scrubbing toilets, paying bills, and planning meals all acts of eternal
significance. Life takes on a holy dimension.

Think about your most mundane tasks. List some of them and describe why they are actually
holy.

It is not just the mundane tasks that are holy acts. Choices to paint a picture, construct a building,
write a poem, plant a garden, decide to further our education or educate our children can be acts
of worship. We work with the hands and minds God has given us, we use the goods he has given
us to work with. We use the talents and skills he has instilled within us to perform work and serve
others with that work. All of these are acts of worship.

Think about all of the dimensions of worship, whether in everyday tasks, choices, talents or skills.
Describe several of the ways you are using these in your life to worship God.

Service to God is worship of God. If we are set free from thinking that we
are working for anything or anyone but God, then we are worshiping. Does
this change your perspective on your work? How?
Day 4
86
Worship is defiance against darkness; it is drawing deep into the heart of
God. What does this mean when you think about your life?
Day 5

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

Write a prayer asking God to help you see how the tasks you perform, and the choices you make,
are truly acts of worship. Ask him to help you draw deep into his heart and to defy any darkness
you encounter.

DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 16 in your book.
________________________________________________________
Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
6&7
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
87
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
88
CHAPTER 17

PRACTICING CELEBRATION:
BREATHING IS THE OCCASION

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


He has shown
kindness by Mothers work hard to ensure that their children have an idyllic childhood,
giving you rain keeping them in a mythical land of lollipops and rainbows for as long as
from heaven possible. The ironic truth is that within our good intentions, we can often
cross the line and steal from our children their spiritual growth charts, as if
Day 1
and crops in
shielding them from the practice of faith enables them to be more faithful.
their seasons;
he provides Think about the environment you maintain for your children. Are they being sheltered too much?
you with Not enough? Or somewhere in the middle where they are able to begin learning the lessons of
plenty of food life and faith?
and fills your
heart with joy.
Acts 14:17

The author’s husband, Ben, spent his early years in Central America. He says, ―I never lived with
any sense of idealism, though I felt a great sense of security in my family and in the God we lived
for. I never thought about the causes of all those stories or assigned blame. What is the use of
that? I knew God had a firm hand upon me, and in this, I was and am immoveable. My times are
in his hands. There were no hysterics in my home because of such situations and obvious
injustices. Instead, a profound gratitude for life and all of its goodness and even fun.‖

What is your vision of an ideal life?

How do you respond when hard things happen that differ from your vision?

89
Ben has a deep-rooted joy in his daily living. The author believes this is a gift resulting from what
he witnessed and could bear testimony to as a child. Ponder your own most prevalent attitudes
and emotions. What would you say they are? What attitude is most prevalent?

A grateful life releases joy and creates a celebratory life. There is no room
for fearful stinginess, anxious covetousness, and lazy self-pity.

If something needs to change in you in order to better reflect your faith and
Day 2
trust in God, think about how you could begin that process. It is important
that you recognize any feelings or issues in your life that may be in need of
healing or changing so your joy is real, and not merely a superficial mask.

List some of the ways you can begin to embrace true inner joy, whatever your circumstances,
recognizing that change is a process.

Those who can sense the gift in simply breathing can establish homes where joy and laughter are
daily occurrences. Perhaps it is this that makes up a good childhood and, for that matter, the
breeding ground for growth for us all: truth of the world’s realities coupled with the response of
resolved gratitude.

Have you known a family who had difficult circumstances or less than others financially, but they
seemed very happy? To what did you attribute their happiness?

What does the term ―resolved gratitude‖ mean in your own words?

90
As a woman of the twenty-first century, the author senses a growing
urgency to evaluate the world around her – all the issues, trends, and
concerns that might push her toward or away from gratitude. Day 3
Jesus urges us to not be so caught up in our own business that we neglect
being careful students of the times. He invites us to see the world through his perspective and
then think and act with intentional power.

Are there any events in the world around you that stir your heart and mind? What are the issues,
trends, or concerns that ―make your heart beat fast?‖ Ask God to reveal to you which of these he
may be asking you to become involved with, whether through prayer and/or further actions. As
you do, remember that there are many good causes, but not all of them may be the causes God
is calling you to personally address.

Running Into Water is not a book about how women may better polish their furniture. Instead, it is
about the gravity of running hard into God as women, and as mothers in the times in which we
find ourselves.

What does ―running hard‖ specifically mean to you? How is ―running hard‖ different from ―striving
hard?‖

We, as ones immersed in Christ, are to celebrate because we know the One who sustains our
moments. If we cannot derive a sense of joy that supersedes all happiness when we surrender to
this, then we may never find ourselves bound to true gratitude.

How could a sense of joy supersede a sense of happiness? How does that lead to gratitude?

Days are coming when the solidity of our immersion will demand every
muscle we are working now to exercise. We cannot go limp. Our pruning
now will determine our fruit later in a time when we really will need it – in a Day 4
91
time when there will be absolutely no room for complaining and small thinking.

Whether it is the difficulty you will face in the short-term, or difficulty in the long run, determine
now what your resolve and response to those difficulties will be.

Lydia, with her family beside her, is making a positive impact in Russia through simple acts like
sending a text message, or giving a phone call, flowers, a candy bar, or an encouraging card
slipped to someone from the stash of blank ones she keeps in her purse. When she does these
seemingly small things, for a moment someone can feel the glow of being important. She allows
herself to be a conduit of God and his great love for all peoples.

What simple actions could you take to show love and celebrate life in Christ?

We must go forward and bring joy and celebration to each other, for no
other occasion than that we were given breath for yet another day. The
gratitude such celebration will foster in spite of life’s expected and
unforeseen circumstances will do its work in making indelible marks both
Day 5
within you and on your children.

What do you and your family have to celebrate in your lives right now?

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

Write a prayer asking God to invade you, your home, and your mothering with joy and
thanksgiving. Ask him to show you how he wants you to celebrate, then listen to what he brings to
your mind.

92
DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 17 in your book.
________________________________________________________ Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________ 6&7
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
93
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
94
PART 3:

INTENTIONS

95
CHAPTER 18

THE SPACE BETWEEN US:


GUILT CRUCIFIED

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


Come, let us
return to the In Chapter 18, the author begins by saying she was awakened many
Lord…, Let us mornings to the voice of guilt, condemnation, and a cloud of expectations
acknowledge the that were heavy on her. It was her first time parenting, and she was sure
that she would scar her child for life in some way— that her flaws and
Day 1
Lord; let us press
struggles would become his dysfunction.
on to
acknowledge It is a time when our culture blames much on the faults and failures of parents. This tendency
him. As surely as causes us to be more conscious of our own parenting. And while there are certainly parents who
the sun rises, he abuse and make terrible mistakes with their children, the fact that you are reading this book and
will appear; he trying to draw closer to God as a woman suggests you care very much about your parenting.
will come to us
Do you have a healthy perspective concerning the care of your children? Or are there areas of
like the winter unearned guilt and shame where you struggle? If so, list them.
rains, like the
spring rains that
water the earth.
Hosea 6:1, 3

The author says she was frightened, believing she would spend all her days trying to cover the
great expanse between all she was, and all she thought she should be. The cross of Christ did
not seem to be large enough to cover the fact that she was a growing human on display.

The monster of guilt has, in some aspect, harassed you and your mothering practice. Are there
places where you feel painful guilt that you should, would, or could have done something
differently? Are your ―shoulds, woulds, and coulds‖ tempered with the truth that you are a loving,
caring person who is seeking God and his grace for the daily situations of this life? Why or why
not?

One mother looked back on her own parenting, reflecting, ―My nurturing
skills and my spiritual growth at the time were not stellar. I think in many
ways, I stunted my children. I look back and I see a lot of control and blame
coming out of me. My following of Christ was not authentic. To a watching
Day 2
world that viewed their performance, my children were not perfect, and I
reacted with firm discipline that stemmed out of shame and guilt. I often
96
mothered for approval, and my efforts were to evade my constant sense that I was not all I should
be for them.‖

You will make mistakes. You will learn as you go. Are you able to ask God to parent your children
in the ways that you have not been able to? Are there mistakes you’ve already made that you
would like God to turn into good in your children? If so, write them, along with words asking God’s
intervention and healing.

Other mothers told the author they felt very guilty for taking any time for
themselves. They felt that to take any amount of time to care for their own
interests and needs was selfish, and were afraid it would negate the intense
love they had for their children.
Day 3
Imagine yourself as a full pitcher, pouring out to your children and others in your life. There are
many cups being filled, and the pitcher is becoming more and more empty. Something has to be
put back in the pitcher or there will be nothing to pour out.

What is filling your pitcher? What are your needs, interests, and hobbies?

We often proclaim to our children, ―I’m not perfect, so don’t expect me to be!‖ We live with a
sense of innate disappointment with all we are and all we have to offer, bound by our limitations,
whether they are physical, financial, or otherwise. We offer this as a model to our children.

Children learn what they live. Are you modeling the fact that God delights in you? Do you accept
who he has created you to be and the life he has allowed you to live out? (This does not mean to
stop learning or growing beyond where you are today, but that you accept your status and station
without innate disappointment.)

The author believes all of our guilt and over-striving as mothers is enough must end – we cannot
accept it any longer as part of motherhood. Instead, it is time to dig deeper and unearth the sin at
the root of guilt. We all need personal deliverance and a love that covers a multitude of sins (1
Peter 4:8).

97
How do constant feelings of guilt hinder parenting?

For those who have been immersed in Jesus, guilt has been crucified.
The space between all that we are and all that we should be is of no
consequence now. Our identity is no longer that of a guilty one, but one Day 4
who has been set free. Jesus took away our sin, and understands our
frailty. He knows the task of mothering is too great for us.

Imagine Jesus speaking to you lovingly about his forgiveness for your guilt, and how he
understands you need him to help you in your role as a mother. What would he say?

C.S. Lewis wrote, ―Remember what St. John says, ―’If our heart condemns us, God is stronger
than our heart.’‖ If your heart – through your emotions – is condemning you, it is the arsenal of
Satan to hold you back from the presence of God and all he has planned for you to overcome.
What you know to be true from the Word of God – in your intellect – must overrule your emotions.

What do you know to be true? Is it the same as what you are feeling about yourself?

Our pride and today’s prevailing culture leads us to believe we are the
creators of our children and their fate ultimately lies in our hands.

Satan is the master of this world. Pride and prevailing culture belong to
Day 5
him. Explain how he can use these tools to get you to believe lies about
the fate of your children and your influence over that fate.

98
As in the author’s dream, there is no space between us and our children from the King. He covers
us in sweet water that washes away all guilt and shame, all shortcomings to holiness, all of the
accusations and fears that distance us from each other. We have encountered Christ, and in the
purest love, each other.

Think about what would be washed away with the sweet water of the King in your life as a woman
and a mother. What would be taken away? What would remain as the woman you are in Christ?

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

Write a prayer confessing all of the areas you feel guilt – both earned guilt and unearned guilt.
Ask him to help you in the areas where you fall short. Ask him to release you from guilt that he
has already died to wash away once you have confessed it.

DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 18 in your book.
________________________________________________________ Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________ 6&7
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
99
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
100
CHAPTER 19

A WAY OF SEEING:
PURPOSED VISION

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?


I planted the
seed. Apollos The author believes she became a mother when her vision of motherhood
watered it, but changed, and she saw the beauty of her role. Before that time she did not
God made it see this role as entirely significant and worthy of her intelligence and effort.
Like so many women in our culture she believed there were other practices
Day 1
grow. So neither
far more sacred and certainly more spiritually formative.
he who plants
nor he who What message do you, in your deepest heart, believe about the role of mothering? Did you ever
waters is have different intentions prior to what you believe now?
anything, but
only God who
makes things
grow. The man
who plants and
the man who
waters have one
purpose, and
each will be
God has a vision for each of us, including our children. His vision for us and our sense of worth is
rewarded not based on our talents, intelligence, or gifts, but based in our identity in Christ and our growth
according to his into his character. We seek God’s vision through our quest to know him and love him, and adopt
own labor. For his character traits into our lives.
we are God’s
fellow workers, As mothers, it is not enough to have an agenda for our children; rather we must seek out God’s
plan for their lives. Ask God for the enablement to truly see your child, and then come alongside
you are God’s
to assist, motivate, and train in any way you can.
field, God’s
building. 1
Corinthians 3:6-9

If you let your human desires and expectations be elevated to the level of
God’s visions for you or your children, you will struggle with disappointment,
anger, anxiety, and depression. Are you struggling in any of these areas?
Pray and examine your heart. Could it be that you have visions or
Day 2
expectations that are elevated to something different than the plan of God?

101
One mother told the author that the vision she had for her children when
they were young had come from her legalistic background. It was reduced
to wanting and expecting them to be just as she was, make the decisions
she made, in effect creating carbon copies of her. Her children grew to
Day 3
pursue Christ in different ways than she had planned, and initially she
would degrade them in her tone and sarcasm for biblical choices they made that differed from her
own.

How will you respond if your children choose biblical paths that are different from your own?

God does have a very clear vision of what he wants for each child’s life. As mothers we must
seek that vision, and help our children to begin to discover it. Part of helping form the vision is
removing any obstacles that will hinder them from entering the presence of God. In Isaiah 57:14
God shouts, ―Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my
people.‖ In Isaiah’s day, people in the villages prepared for the visitation of the king in advance,
clearing the way, building the road, filling the cracks, and removing dangerous obstacles.

As a mother, what can you do to build up, prepare the road, and remove any obstacles to better
see the vision of God? Inquire and seek counsel from God so that your path and your children’s
paths may be free and clear, as much as it depends on you. Your list may not be complete. Some
things might be added or removed from the list later as God leads and directs you. But for now,
be as specific as possible.

If you have not already done so, choose a life verse for your children. Read
it to them as babies and teach it to them as soon as they can talk, so they
can hang it in their souls and let it drip into their ears. Post it and pray it
Day 4
over them every night.

Take time now to find a verse for each of your children. Write it on an index card – or even create
a piece of art – and place it where it is readily visible, both day and night.

102
Now that you have chosen a life verse for each child, develop a vision statement for each child.
Pray and work at it so this vision clearly reflects each child continually seeking God’s plan
throughout life. Make sure this vision statement reflects God’s vision, and not your own ideas
about what you want for each child. Refer to Psalm 71:18 and pages 190-193 in your book as you
work on this assignment.

For each vision statement, write down some specific goals that support that
vision. As you work, remember that with each stage of development in our
children’s lives comes a need for new goals to fit into the vision. Refer to
Day 5
pages 194-197in your book for ideas and examples of specific goals to
support a vision.

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

Write a prayer asking God to help you come alongside your children with the vision he has for
each of them. Ask him to help both you and each of them continue to seek him and his vision
throughout life.

DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 19 in your book.
________________________________________________________ Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________ 6&7
________________________________________________________
103
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
104
CHAPTER 20

OUT OF OUR HANDS:


THE RELEASE

DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?

For in you is the


fountain of life; in Chapter 20 begins with Esther and her daughter Sydney. Like many
mothers, Esther wanted better life experiences for her daughter. Sydney
your light we see
light. Psalm 36:9
became a very strong woman, but spoiled in some respects because she
grew up learning her well-being was the most important thing in the world to
Day 1
Esther.

In our culture it is tempting to give your children every material thing, and every possible
experience you can provide. How do you determine what is enough, and what is too much?

Is it possible to harm your children by making their well-being of a greater importance than it
should be? If so, how do you determine when you have crossed the line?

Esther’s daughter Sydney walked away from the Christian community for a time. Esther feared
she would walk away from Christ and his followers completely. But slowly Sydney worked out her
own faith in response to her own pain and questions.

Can you accept the idea that working out faith is a process? Can you accept that your child may
be working out this process while being out of your control and in God’s hands?

105
Every human being makes mistakes, and as mothers we are no exception.
But we may faithfully plant seeds that are good, despite our mistakes.
Though imperfectly planted, those seeds can and do grow. Day 2
What good seeds have you sown in your own life? In your children’s lives?

Esther never imagined that her daughter would join the Army and fight a
war in the Middle East. Yet this was the very place where the permissive
will of God allowed Sydney to go. This was the place where a deeper faith
began to grow in her daughter.
Day 3
God may allow something in the life of your child that goes against every
protective instinct you have as a mother. How do you imagine yourself responding?

Esther would take her daughter’s faith journey over rote, second-hand faith any day, no matter
how painful it has been for their whole family. Her daughter’s faith, hard-forged and riddled with
mistakes, is her own.

Would it be difficult for you to witness your child working out his or her own faith on a path full of
mistakes and hardships? How would you respond throughout this process? What would your
emotions and prayers be like?

As women we often wrap up much of our identity in our children’s lives. When our children make
mistakes – even flat out fail to turn out as we’d hoped – we can go through a time of wondering if
what we tried to do as mothers meant anything at all.

Have you experienced these feelings? Or do you fear this happening at some point with your
children?

106
Who are you in Christ, as a human being separate from your role as a
mother? Take time to look up Scripture in the Bible that declares who you
are. Write these words from God and place them in a location where you
will be reminded of them often.
Day 4

In speaking with mature mothers – women who have chosen to run hard into God like Esther –
common themes emerged. These mothers spoke of regrets, of the need to pray hard, the
necessity to tend to children while they are young and to shut down the voices saying that time
spent with your children is less than intellectual and contributing. They spoke of the importance of
allowing Jesus to set you free from the guilt and fear that you are not doing all that you should do.
They spoke of the importance of meeting each day with joy.

Think about your answers and the Scriptures you wrote in the previous question. If you don’t see
yourself as God sees you, your children will not learn to see themselves as God sees them either.
They are learning from your example. What do you think they are learning?

These same mothers are passionate about the fact that everything pales
in comparison to instilling in your children how deeply Jesus loves them,
and how much he longs to live his life through them. They saw later how
God made each child to be just as he wanted in personality and interests,
Day 5
not how they as mothers preferred them to be.

Do you have a child – or children – very different from you? If so, how do you convey that the
person they were created to be is wonderfully made?

107
A large majority of mothers with grown children urged the younger generation not to believe the
lie that to need help, mentoring, counseling, or the gift of deep godly friendships is a sign of
weakness. Satan would like you to believe that lie.

How do you feel about needing friends, mentoring, or counseling? Do you need one or more of
those now?

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

You have planted good seeds in your children. Think of your prayers as water and sun to those
seeds. Life is full of mistakes. Think of your prayers as weed control for the mistakes you, your
children, and other human beings have made in their lives. Write a prayer asking God to be the
master gardener in your life and the lives of your children, remembering that your prayers invite
God to do his work.

DEEPER IMMERSION:

Use the space provided below to continue your DEEPER IMMERSION


questions at the end of Chapter 20 in your book.
________________________________________________________ Days
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________ 6&7
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
108
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
109
EPILOGUE

THE SUM OF IT ALL


DEEPER STILL: What are your thoughts?

In all my prayers
for all of you, I You who have chosen to run into Water, all the truth about God the Father, God the Son,
always pray with and God the Holy Spirit will be your three-pronged crown. The enduring exquisite
joy because of church, the esteeming love of Jesus, the reality of the unseen battle, the source of your
your partnership significance – it will all be a part of your countenance.
in the gospel from
You have done a great deal of thinking, praying, diving in and immersing deeply. Page
the first day until
207 of your book Running Into Water describes a great number of ways your
now, being
countenance will be transformed through this immersion. In what ways have you been
confident of this, transformed?
that he who began
a good work in
you will carry it on
to completion
until the day of
Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:4-6

RUNNING TO GOD: What is your prayer?

Ask God to continue his beautiful work in you as you continue on your life’s journey,
walking with him until you meet him face to face. And thank him for what he has
already done.

110
THE WATER CRISIS:
JOIN ME IN BEING AN ADVOCATE
FOR THE THIRSTY
I tell you the truth,
anyone who gives
you a cup of water Unlike Water and terrorism, the global water crisis does not make media headlines, despite the
in my name fact that it claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns. Unlike natural
disasters, it does not rally concerted international action, despite the fact that more people die
because you each year from drinking dirty water than all of the world’s hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, and
belong to Christ earthquakes combined.
will certainly not
lose his reward. This is a silent crisis experienced by the poor and tolerated by those with the resources,
Mark 9:41 technology, and the political power to end it.

Will you do more than tolerate this crisis?

Could you make one small change in the world?

Could your small group decide to make giving water a group action?

What can you personally do to make this happen? Think and say a prayer about that now, and
write down your ideas now.

You can be a part of this movement through your awareness, advocacy, prayers, giving, and
purchase of this book. A tithe of all royalties from Running Into Water will go directly to
supporting the work of Living Water International. I am pleased to partner in this vital work
around the world.

Visit their Web site at www.water.cc and join me in being an advocate for the thirsty, and
providing a cup of water in Jesus’ name.

111

Centres d'intérêt liés