Monday, September 25, 2006

"We Shall Morph Indeed" Pt. 5

"I Yam What I Yam"
"This is why Jesus came. That is what spiritual life is about. This is your calling -- to become what Lewis called an 'everlasting splendor'" -- John Ortberg
I am continuing to journal the study questions from Chapter 1 of John Ortberg's The Life You've Always Wanted. For some "look ahead" at the book, I have posted the chapter titles at the index link at the bottom.I didn't finish the chapter 1 questions yesterday - I will take another shot today. Again, about the pace of my journaling on this book
the way the study group is supposed to work we are to be ready for the full chapter this coming Thursday - but may take whatever time is necessary, comfortable, and the Spirit leads us to "get through" the questions. When our group finishes the chapter 1 discussion, and we are told to get ready for chapter 2 - I will journal the chapter 2 questions. I may read the book ahead, but I do not want to answer the questions until after the discussion on the previous chapter - I want to leave the ability of the discussion to transform my understanding, and answers, as I go.
I finished the main seven questions - now for the

Additional Small-group Questions

Before Question 1 I will have to explain part of the text. The author talks about one of Popeye's favorite lines - "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam" - when he was frustrated, wasn't sure what to do, or felt inadequate. The author always thought there was a note of sadness in this: while Popeye definitely "owned his story"
"It was generally offered as an explanation of his shortcomings. It does not anticipate much growth or change. It doesn't leave him much of a shot at getting to be what he yam not" - John Ortberg
Question 1:
What can make people feel like Popeye and simply resigned to saying, "I yam what I yam and that is all that I yam"?
Read this quote by C.S. Lewis from "The Weight of Glory":
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization--these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit--immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.
Question 3:
If you truly believed that " You have never talked to a mere mortal," how might your behavior change toward one of the following people:
  • A close friend
  • A bitter enemy
  • Your spouse
  • A parent
  • A co-worker or schoolmate
For personal reflection:
What is one area of your life you know God wants to transform but you honestly do not want to change (or have given up hope of ever changing).
Prayer focus:
Take time to pray for the Holy Spirit to give you a renewed desire to be changed in this area of your life and to give you hope in his power to bring transformation.
This finishes chapter 1. Chapter 2 will come someday.

Next in series: "Surprised by Change" Pt. 1
Index to Series

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How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
1. The Golden Rule
2. You cannot read minds
3. People are not evil
4. Debates are not for winning
5. You make mistakes
6. Not everyone cares as much as you
7. Engaging is hard work
8. Differences can be subtle
9. Give up quietly