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Life from the Up Side: Seeing God at Work in the World [Secure eReader]
eBook by J. Ellsworth Kalas

eBook Category: Spiritual/Religion
eBook Description: "I confess that I am an unreconstructed optimist. Not a naive one; I've lived too long for that, long enough to have experienced a resounding case for pessimism. I have vivid memories of the Great Depression, and I've lived through several wars and those international anomalies that we call police actions. I've watched what has seemed to me to be a rather steady decline in both public and private morals, and a growing confusion about ethics. And of course, I've watched the increasing prevalence of both evil and inanity (sometimes they're synonymous) in television and on the Internet." from the Introduction But: There is God. And because there is God, there is goodness. I profoundly believe that God is at work in our world and that our planet has not yet been written off as a lost cause. History seems to tell me that though our human race appears so often to dedicate itself to its own destruction, God is always at work, usually, I think, behind the scenes. And because of God, faith, love, and goodness keep being reborn. So I write about Life from the Up Side. Twelve sessions: On Being Born with a Rusty Spoon: For those who've had a bad start; When Life Is at January: Who knows what wonders lie ahead?; A Woman Who Lived with Scorn: For those who suffer rejection close at hand; Don't Blame the Donkey! Capitalize on your adversity; When You've Been Given a Bad Name: Don't let others define you; Color Her Moses: Never give up. Never. Plot for a Life: More than success; Party Gone Flat: What to do when life loses its flavor; Suppose You're Worth More Than You Think You Are: It's time you calculated your worth; How Wide Is a Boat? Gladness is nearer than you think; Strange Victory: The gains in our losses; The View from Mount Nebo: And then, there is heaven "

eBook Publisher: Dimensions for Living/Dimensions for Living
Fictionwise Release Date: February 2005




Chapter 1--On Being Born with a Rusty Spoon
(For Those Who've Had a Bad Start) Snapshot Summary

This chapter shows how "a bad start" in life does not have to limit our potential for serving God.

Reflection / Discussion Questions

1. Explain what it means that each of us was born with a rusty spoon.

2. Reflect on / discuss some of the unpleasant realities of life that seem to suggest that "we are born into a world where sin was here before we were."

3. In what ways are we directly shaped by the generations that have come before us?

4. Why do you think the spies selected the house of Rahab as a hideout?

5. How is the story of Rahab a rusty-spoon story?

6. Reflect on / discuss what happened to Rahab after Israel conquered Jericho.

7. How is Rahab an example of faith and works?

8. What lessons about God did you learn from the story of Rahab?

9. Share an example of how you or someone you know overcame difficult situations or circumstances through faith.

10. What new insights did you receive from reading this chapter?

Activities

As a group: Make a list of things or circumstances in life that can limit us or hold us back. Then make a list of things that help us overcome our difficulties or challenges.

At home: Look at what you have "inherited," and ponder how you can use it to accomplish God's purpose for your life.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for giving us no limits in our potential for serving you, no matter how we start out in life. Help us to learn from the example of Rahab and to respond constructively to the challenges we face while always maintaining our faith in you. Thank you for always being with us. Amen.

Chapter 2--When Life is at January
(Who Knows What Wonders Lie Ahead?) Snapshot Summary

This chapter examines beginnings that are not always so neat and tidy.

Reflection / Discussion Questions

1. What choices are not ours to make in life?

2. How does it feel to be thrust into something without a choice?

3. Reflect on / discuss what you like or dislike about the month of January.

4. How is the Genesis story a January story?

5. Share a time when you learned that beginnings are not easy.

6. What is the importance of genealogy in Genesis?

7. What message does the story of Abraham have for us today?

8. How do you usually respond when there are challenging circumstances or events that are beyond your control?

9. What unexpected events occur in the Genesis stories mentioned in the chapter?

10. Why is it wise to expect the unexpected?

Activities

As a group: Reflect on / discuss what God expects from us when life is at January, that is, when life doesn't seem to be going anywhere or when we find ourselves at an uncertain beginning.

At home: Open your eyes this week to see the unexpected and to see the new paths where God is leading you. Ponder what wonders lie ahead.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for life's unexpected surprises. Help us to remember that while we don't know what the future holds, we do know that you and your love are constant. May we make the most of the talents and opportunities you provide to us. Amen.

Copyright © 2004 by Dimensions for Living


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