Our church in Winchester decided to do this as a New Year study. I was in a liberal housegroup which was half in/out of church – which wanted to make its own decisions about what we studied. However, we decided to try this one – I don’t remember much other than laughing at the awful fashions, the boring font, and us abandoning it halfway through. I love my housegroup, it’s still going, and I join it when I visit – and maybe it wasn’t right for us at the time, but I’ve since been raiding my Mum’s bookshelves, and there it is again!
No, I haven’t re-read the whole thing, but I know many people who have read it, and found it usefully challenging as to how they should live a Christ-centred life. Flicking back through, it looks much more interesting than I remembered, and I think I’ll be back for it. The sections of the book are divided as follows (each with discussion questions at the end of the book) (p6):
- What on earth am I here for?
- You were planned for God’s pleasure
- You were formed for God’s family
- You were created to become like Christ
- You were shaped for serving God
- You were made for mission
Flicking through, a few sentences have already stood out. In my travels, it’s been hard sometimes to find somewhere to worship/fellowship – relationships take time, and I’ve moved around a lot in the last 3 years – thank goodness for my friends who continue to pray for me and send me emails that they still care for me!
(p134) It may seem easier to be holy when no one else is around to frustrate your preferences, but that is a false, untested holiness. Isolation breeds deceitfulness: it is easy to fool ourselves into thinking we are mature if there is no one to challenge us. Real maturing shows up in relationships.
It is not only earthly friendships we need to seek:
(p98) The truth is- you are as close to God as you choose to be. Intimate friendship with God is a choice, not an accident. You must intentionally seek it. Do you really want it – more than anything? What is it worth to you? Is it worth giving up other things? Is it worth the effort of developing the habits and skills required.
In choosing how to spend your time:
(p180) Nothing shapes your life more than the commitments you choose to make. Your commitments can develop you or they can destroy you, but either way, they will define you. Tell me what you are committed to, and I’ll tell you what you’ll be in twenty years. We become whatever we are committed to.
Prepared for use as an Oak Hall Leader.