Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A "Dee Dah Day": Part 2

[I am continuing to journal the study questions from Chapter 4 ("A 'Dee Dah Day': The Practice of Celebration") of John Ortberg's The Life You've Always Wanted. For previous posts, and a "look ahead" at the chapter titles click the index link at the bottom.]

Somebody thanked me for the questions. I cannot take credit - they were created by Kevin G. Harney.

Additional Small-group Questions

  1. The author writes about people who have a unique ability to destroy joy.
    • Without using any names, how have people like this impacted your life?
    • What can we do to keep these people from robbing us of joy?

  2. Impatience kills both joy and time. How have you seen impatience kill time in your life?

  3. Read this quote from G. K. Chesterton:
    Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown' up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown' up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.
    • How does Chesterton's vision of a youthful and joy-filled God affirm or clash with your vision of God?
    • What kind of a picture of God were you given as a child growing up in your home or church? Go to this poll
    • What kind of a picture of God do you have today? Go to the poll below

  4. If you asked the members of your small group to describe your joy-quotient, what do you, think they would say about you in terms of joy or non-joy?

  5. The author says, "Joylessness may be the sin most readily tolerated by the church." Why do you think the church is so quick to accept and even encourage joylessness?

  6. What are some of the natural and joy-filled moments that occur in your week that you need to begin noticing and celebrating?

  7. The author says, "Often it is the people closest to suffering who have the most powerful joy." Tell about a person who has modeled this truth and what you have learned from his or her life.
As an exercise in contrast [to the above quote], imagine for a moment how the opening sentences of the Bible might read if God were not a supremely joyful being. Imagine Genesis if God approached his work as we so often do:
In the beginning, it was nine o'clock, so God had to go to work. He filled out a requisition to separate light from darkness. He considered making stars to beautify the night, and planets to fill the skies, but thought it sounded like too much work; and besides, thought God, "That's not my job." So he decided to knock off early and call it a day. And he looked at what he had done and he said, "It'll have to do."

On the second day God separated the waters from the dry land. And he made all the dry land flat, plain, and functional, so that-behold-the whole earth looked like Idaho. He thought about making mountains and valleys and glaciers and jungles and forests, but he decided it wouldn't be worth the effort. And God looked at what he had done that day and said, "It'll have to do."

And God made a pigeon to fly in the air, and a carp to swim in the waters, and a cat to creep upon dry ground. And God thought about making millions of other species of all sizes and shapes and colors, but he couldn't drum up any enthusiasm for any other animals - in fact, he wasn't too crazy about the cat. Besides, it was almost time for the Late Show. So God looked at all he had done, and God said, "It'll have to do."

And at the end of the week, God was seriously burned out. So he breathed a big sigh of relief and said, "Thank Me, it's Friday."
Next in series: "An Unhurried Life" 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