Saturday, September 21, 2013

Chapter Three, "Do Your Mind?"

I have to admit that I need to read this book because theology has such a bad connotation with me recently as I have seen Internet arguments. I need a fresh appreciation for theology, Aimee. You seem to imply that it is really just a daily living of dynamic faith in all areas of life incompassing ethics and decision making.  The word "Christian" has become so watered-down--almost everyone is one according to their understanding. But discipleship in Christ  is certainly different and has to include both affective and cognitive areas.

"There seems to be an aversion to learning biblical theology. . . . conversion is not merely a ticket out of hell. It is the beginning of a whole new life, not just an end to the old one," writes Aimee Byrd on p. 55.

This chapter really capsulizes what Aimee Byrd is saying about being a theologian, or a careful Christian and housewife in all areas of life. She desires that we do more than "get by" and p. 55 continues:
"God's grace is so magnificent that it not only allows us eternity with him once we die, but also initiates an intimate relationship with him now through his Spirit as he sanctifies us into the likeness of his Son." 
"WITH" reminds me of Skye Jethani's book I reviewed HERE and HERE. There is so much meat in Aimee's chapter three, that you really have to get the book and read it for yourself. Value using Scripture in all of life and value the church, God's people,  as the instrument He uses (though not because it is perfect) for our sanctification.

As I wrote in the last two posts on Housewife Theologian, I can't be in an actual study on this book, so I decided to give my input here. The chapter three questions from pp. 69 and 70 challenge me and probably will you as well. Again the questions are in red and my answers are in black.
  • Think of a regular day in the life of you. Do you feel as if you are merely getting by as a Christian, or do you feel confident that you are integrating your life well with God's truth? In what ways do you think you may be conformed to this world? This month has been so busy for me as I have taken on a long-term substitute job through September 30. I strive to be the best teacher for these educationally handicapped students, not merely fill a spot legally. Several students are reading better as I have been concentrating on giving them skills they need. Then my life at home includes practical details of caregiving for my husband who has mixed dementia and now is struggling to walk. I am just "getting by" this month and prayers are appreciate. 
  • Can you specifically recall a time when you could honestly characterize yourself as loving God, even to the contempt of yourself? Aimee, is this a trick question? He is all I love and I abhor my imperfections and need his grace each day to overcome sin in my life. 
  • Read Matthew 7:21-12. Do you intimately know God and his Word? I am daily in the Word, but need to meditate on it and put it in context more.  Do you know it well enough to discern his will in tough situations? I think that prayer enters here. LORD, what do you want me to do today? How can I obey You.  Does he know you by your obedience to his Word, or do you serve him on your own terms? My own terms do not work. Does he see you in his church? Yes but my church attendance and involvement used to be so busy that I rarely relaxed and worshipped in church. Now worship is a highlight of the week. 
  • Do you feel confident enough to teach someone else about God's Word, or do you still need milk yourself? Explain.  I feel confident one-on-one to point others to the Bible. 
  • What is the difference between Christian spirituality and the Christian mind? Not sure where this question is going.  Spirituality may point to the fruit of the Spirit and the Christian mind may point to doctrine. We need both. Not all believers are intellectually literate or even capable in theology, but all are called to grow in grace and the knowledge of our LORD. 
  • Does your neighbor know the same "you" as the person sitting beside you on the pew on Sunday mornings? One of our neighbors recently chewed me out and included my Christianity or his stereotype of how hypocritical Christians are in his rant against me. He thought I should join his campaign against another neighbor and had no idea that Christianity also includes truth and peacemaking.  Is your faith something that you keep private and separate from everyday life? I walk a fine line in substitute teaching in public schools and also in teaching classes for DUI offenders. However, I DO NOT see a need TO AVOID mentioning my faith in these settings. I would hope that my excellence in teaching also honors our LORD. 
  • See if you find yourself compromising God's truth in conversations this month. How can you change this? Are you afraid of what others might think if you discuss the content of your faith, or do you just feel ill-equipped to share? My husband and I were out to dinner last night and met an unchurched couple. I did bring up faith issues with them, and we may get together in the future. Stay tuned and pray. There are divine appointments that can happen. 
  • How is it that we are able to know God truly but not exhaustively? I would say that I know God personally, but cannot know ALL about Him. Why is this an important distinction? Perhaps this has to do with faith and we read that it is impossible to please Him without faith. 
  • Why is God's Word so important to the renewing of the mind? God's Word is a treasure and I need Scripture to test my perceptions and to guide me in daily living.  
  • Assess your mental status as a housewife. Actually I would rather study than do housework, but am prompted to do both. Have a list of things to do today, Saturday. Do you enjoy learning? Yes. How does your continued learning affect your role as a housewife, sister, mother, friend, employee, neighbor, or church member? Hopefully I am learning to have a quiet and gentle spirit and am not going around as a know-it all. How does it affect your beauty? Oh no! I thought that concept was in the last chapter. Well maybe I can say that I need to beautify our home today. 
  • What is the importance of learning in the community of the local church versus learning in isolation? I think it is both. How would learning church history be helpful? We are told we learn from history, or else we repeat its mistakes. What other messages are vying for your allegiance? Aging issues such as my husband's dementia and saving for a new roof. 
  • What new thing have you learned this year? One thing? Make a plan of action. I probably need "to do" lists. What are your goals of learning for the rest of the year? How do you intend to meet them? I am writing a seminary dissertation on being an Alzheimer's caregiver in my "spare" time. My pastor/professor knows I like to study and write and he chose this topic for me. Please pray for this undertaking. 
  • Will there still be learning in heaven? I think we will know our LORD then, but continue to enjoy Him forever and to discover new marvels. 
Stay tuned for "Hear Me Roar", chapter four. 

4 comments:

  1. Carol, I see a common theme cropping up again and again in your responses: prayer. Thanks for the example you set here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Tim. How can I pray for you there in trendy California? I know you need much wisdom in your job. I need wisdom as a caregiver as well.

      Delete
  2. Carol, thanks for providing a taste of this book with your reflections. This is very edifying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, again Chuck. How can I pray for you?

      Delete

Please be very respectful when you comment. I will try to respond to all comments in a timely manner. All comments are now moderated.