Week 8 – You Matter More Than You Think

interlude, compassionate witnesses, and only seeds (21 pages)

I can’t stand it that we are only 1 week away from finishing this book together…where does the time go? I hope you have been enjoying this book and been taking a ton of notes. Dr. Leslie Parrott has tons of great insight and is a terrific resource to us all.

We will be taking the summer off from the Online Book Group Study because we are doing the Siesta Summer Bible Study with Beth Moore. If you haven’t joined a group go over the Living Proof Ministry blog and sign up with a group…it’s going to be amazing!

Let’s get started with this week’s special “highlighter” moments…

Interlude (page 197-198)
– What many of us can lose sight of is that these saboteurs are of our own making.

– It is within ourselves that we will find out greatest obstacles to making a difference. This is true of any great feat. ‘It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves,’ said Edmund Hillary, the first person to climb Mount Everest. And he’s right.

– I’ve come to say, quite often, that awareness is curative. Once you become aware of something hidden from yourself, a potential flaw or weakness or fear that you perceive, you can then do something positive to change or avoid it. Don’t you agree?

Chapter 18 – compassionate witnesses
When I think of those who have influenced my life the most, I think not of the great but of the good. ~John Knox

Page 201 – ‘Time heals all wounds,’ isn’t quite true; Time heals only those wounds that are shared and understood. And every woman who dares to make a difference, regardless of her age or stage in life, can benefit from exploring this truth.’

Page 208 – I’ll be the first to admit it. I have doubts about my self-worth. What woman doesn’t? And mine started early in life. Even with revelations from psychologists’ couches and friends, my personal deficits didn’t disappear. I worried whether, like my heroines, I would have enough strength to stick with what I set out to do, and whether I could preserver when times got tough. But when a compassionate witness spoke into my life, giving me a different perspective on my situation, it made a difference. And when you become witness to another’s experience, you are also making a bigger difference than you realize.

1) When it comes to other women in your life, who would you say is a valuable “compassionate witness” for you and why? How does she help you reduce your risk of emotional injury during tough times?

2) We’ve all struggles with separating mistakes we’ve made from who we are. Just because we do something stupid doesn’t mean we are stupid. What’s a specific instance you can recall where you were tempted to fall into this trap, and what can you learn from it?

Chapter 19 – only seeds
Page 213 – In other words, the qualities required to be a difference maker emerge as we begin to make our difference. They are not the fruit of our efforts, but the fruit of a life lived in an effort to be more like Christ.

Page 214 – Like turning water into wine, God turns my best efforts, which too often fall short, into something better than I could have ever offered on my own.

Page 215 – Never be afraid to feel inadequate. These are the times when God is eager to do his most remarkable work. And remember, whenever you make a profound difference, it will be the result of receiving his gifts rather than achieving your efforts.

(That is simply PROFOUND and right on!!!)

The radiating influence from one person rightly related to God is incalculable; he may not say much, but you feel different.” ~Oswald Chambers

Page 217 – But I love Eugene Peterson’s fresh translation. When we live God’s way, each loving gesture, each kind act, takes us closer to becoming the person we were meant to be and plants a seed that will eventually grow into spiritual fruit that impacts the lives of everyone we meet. To say it succinctly, the qualities of a woman who makes a difference are grown in a garden of love. And the fruit of her life sweetens the difference she makes.”

1) Do you ever experience “the great reversal” when you know that God is making his strength perfect in your weakness? If so, when?

2) Which “fruit” (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control) seems to grow out of your life in these difference-making moments?

I’ll see you guys next week (Wednesday, June 25th) as we finish up the book and talk about barking pig, a rare road, postlude, and the notes section (18 pages).

Giving God my Best Efforts,

PS – Only (1) more day left to comment for the June 2008 Summer Give Away —> Click HERE to go directly to the Give Away post.

One Comment

  1. Mel! I have not been a good blogger for quite a while! But, I have thought of you often! Great stuff! And I do agree self-awareness through the Holy Spirit is a gift, an opportunity to grow, to come in agreement with the Holy Spirit for a better way of life.

    Sounds like this has been a wonderful, wonderful study, loved the quotes. Just what I needed!


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