FINISHING MERE CHRISTIANITY! WE DID IT!

WE DID IT!

WITH THIS LAST WEEK OF SUMMER,

WE WILL HAVE COMPLETED MERE CHRISTIANITY. IT MAKES ME WANT TO SING THIS, FROM MY FAIR LADY:

You did it! You did it! You said that you would do it,
And indeed you did. I thought that you would rue it;
I doubted you’d do it. But now I must admit it
That succeed you did. You should get a medal
Or be even made a knight.
 

WE SHOULD HAVE A FEELING OF ACCOMPLISHMENT! 

 

I want to celebrate this group, who has persevered through what I realize is a very challenging book.

I was stirred by your opening testimonies of why you wanted to join in.

Chris told of how Mere Christianity impacted her husband, and how he listened to it again through audio as he and his unbelieving sons worked on cars.

I sympathized at just how hard Lewis is, but then I rejoiced to see you getting it.

Bing said “Oh Mr. Lewis, you certainly have taken me in a round-about way!”

Sharon said, 

 

Wendy told of pulling out her hair, then finally seeing the light, then going back to hair-pulling!

 

But those who persevered, learned, loved, and grew.

I love it that this group is not afraid to disagree! I remember when we brought up the issue that some Christians won’t use pictures of Jesus and Laura said: “Wow! I’ve never heard anything about this kind of thing and never even thought about it. I will read the article but my gut instinct says, Hogwash!

 

 

(She felt a bit more sympathetic after reading the article.)

I absolutely love the iron-sharpening-iron of this group.

Last week when pondering if Lewis’s statement means he believed in purgatory, Susan said,

“I don’t think this statement about suffering after death means Lewis believed in purgatory,” and gave an excellent alternative explanation. (You’ll have to see last week if you want to see what she said.) That was wonderful for me to read, for I really don’t want to think that this beloved author embraced purgatory.

Yet this is the first time we’d done a book rather than Scripture, so we shouldn’t assume Lewis is infallible, for no man is. You take his thoughts through the filter of Scripture and ponder!

I remember Mary saying, “I was stunned to read Lewis say it is better to live together than to make promises you don’t intend to keep. I have to mull that over more.” We had some great discussions on his views of marriage, and I remember how beautifully Sharon articulated the sacredness of marriage, but also the mercy of God in allowing divorce in some situations. She wrote: 

 I remember a preacher stating that if a married women is being abused she must stay in that marriage even unto death!  After making sure I understood what he was saying, I walked out of that church and never went back.

Nanci, after reading that Lewis said there was a kernel of truth in all religions, thought, Wait, that can’t be so, but then, she found one — they all believe in a god or gods.

You loved the humor of Lewis. As when Bev laughed at this from Lewis: “People who take these symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, that we should lay eggs!”

You liked the way Lewis teaches us how to think and how to have fruitful two-way discussions.

After Rebecca had a frustrating theological discussion with her son, she said, “I should have answered with questions asking him where he got this idea of unjust.” Likewise, Dawn said, “When dealing with my sons and their wives I have gotten much better at asking questions so I’m not stepping on anyone’s toes.”

The Power Of Good Questions card on sky background

You mined the gold, as when Jenny wrote: “If Christianity means only one bit more of good advice, then Christianity is of no importance.”

And, oh, I could go on, and I know I’ve missed many of you. I have appreciated those who have jumped in to encourage us, even if they couldn’t do the whole book: Diane, Lizzy, and so many more.

So we’ve just two short chapters to finish this week,

and I’m looking forward to more of the same from this group, this gift of fellowship over the internet!

Sunday:

1.What stands out to you from the above and why?

2. What do you think you will remember about this summer’s journey:

    A. From this group

    B. From Mere Christianity (Choose two things)

Monday: Nice People or New Men

It amazes me that though I originally read Mere Christianity fifty years ago, that many of his word pictures stayed in my mind. So many people think Christianity is becoming nicer people, and I did too, but no. It is the difference, for example, between a horse becoming better and stronger and able to jump higher, and a horse becoming a flying horse.

3. Read and or listen to Nice People or New Men and share your comments.

Tuesday: Reflecting on Nice People or New Men

How often I have pondered why some unbelievers are so much nicer than some believers. Some of the worst sports at pickleball claim to be Christians, and some of the best sports claim to be atheists. Lewis sheds light.

4. How does Lewis say we should and should not judge the ability of toothpaste to whiten teeth? What point was he making?

 

5. Why is it that you may have a lovely atheist neighbor and a grumpy Christian neighbor?

 

 

 

6. When you look at your before and after Christ, name two ways you have changed.

 

7. Why might “not-respectable” people be more drawn to Christ than “respectable” people?

 

 

8. How might understanding the above truths give you more grace for brothers and sisters in Christ?

 

Wednesday: The New Men

9. Read or listen to the last chapter and share your thoughts.

 

Thursday: Reflecting on The New Men

It appears Lewis believes in evolution, though he does say many intelligent people do not. From this he says, that Christians do not become nicer by the natural process at all, but by staying close to Christ and experiencing a “good infection.”

Lewis views this as good infection that began to spread throughout the human organism.

 

It is something that happens to us from the outside in.

 

14. Neither is it something that is reproduced sexually. How does John 1:13 put it?

 

“Some new men are hardly recognizable,” Lewis says, for reasons explained in the last chapter, but others “can be recognized. Every once in a while one meets them. …Their voices and faces are different from ours: stronger, quieter, happier, more radiant…They do not draw attention to themselves. you tend to think that you are being kind to them when they are really being kind to you. They love you more than other men do, but they need you less…They will usually seem to have a lot of time: you will wonder where it comes from.”

I still remember reading that 50 years ago. What comes to mind is some dear saints, some of you, I’ve been privileged to know throughout my long life — who were or are indeed, the fragrance of Christ. I think of my husband Steve who was all of the above. And it also brought to mind this scene between Fred Rogers and  the senator in a hearing in congress! As you may know, Fred Rogers was a believer — and he certainly fits the description Lewis has given. I don’t know that I’ve seen a you-tube video that has had as many hits as this one — and I think it is because the fragrance of Christ so permeated Fred Rogers. If you like, listen and comment.

15. Comments? Who have you known who has the fragrance of Christ?

Friday: We remember best what we articulate ourselves.

16. Please dig out two quotes you really want to remember from Mere Christianity.

Saturday:

17. What do you think you’ll remember from this week’s discussion?

 

 

COMMENTS (85) Post a New Comment ↓
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Sunday:
1.What stands out to you from the above and why?
Dee, you save the best for last!!! I smiled and hollered as I read some of the comments that we made during this study. Yes, Lewis sure has stretched me and I told myself I need to re-read Mere Christianity and read the chapters I missed. He was indeed a great man of words and I thank you for doing this study with us. I know it was a lot of work for you and I can’t thank you enough. The pictures you added sure made my morning. And I, too love the sweet fellowship of this blog.
BTW, did I mention that some of our materials here get their way into my classroom? I scrolled through the rest of the week and found the delightful Mr. Rogers. I have seen that before and loved it! I will share his quote “Feelings are mentionable and manageable.” My 16-18 year old students need to hear that. I use warm ups in class and Friday is our quote of the week day. Excited to see what the students will write in their journal.

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How fun to think of you using this material in your classroom. Yes, let us know how they respond!

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1.  What stood out to me from the above is looking back on all the comments with a smile and thinking…I survived!!  I also love how diverse this group is and yet how united we are in Christ.  I didn’t comment too much last week…getting ready for our weekend at Cape Lookout on the beach.  Wonderful time with my family and a lot of R&R!  But I did read both chapters and read all the comments…still sorting through my thoughts on what Lewis “seems” to write about purgatory.

2a.   What I will remember about this journey from the group is the perseverance many of you had in studying this book!  It was more encouraging to me than you’ll ever know and so many of your comments brought understanding and gave me perspective.  Thanks y’all!!

    Reply

    Oh Sharon — I wanted to include everyone who was so faithful, but I know I missed a few — like you. I just corrected that — and it was easy, cause you had so many good comments. Have a great time at the beach!

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

 

The clever “review” of the book with comments from all of us! That was fun! I liked Laura’s “my gut instinct says Hogwash”! Yes, we made it. I probably would have never read this book all on my own because I start so many books and never finish. Doing it here made me keep going and gave me accountability.

 

2. What do you think you will remember about this summer’s journey:

 

A. From this group – we all had times when we said things like we didn’t get it or were confused, but we kept at it! I know there were some chapters that were hard for me to understand; I would come here and read other’s posts, and Dee had many helpful points, pictures, Scripture references, and then I’d go back and re-read, and then I felt like I was understanding.

 

B. From Mere Christianity (choose two things) – First, I really liked the chapter on Christian Marriage. Lewis made so many good, relevant and helpful points, such as “A promise must be about things that I can do, about actions: no one can promise to go on feeling a certain way….ceasing to be ‘in-love’ need not mean ceasing to love….if you decide to make thrills your regular diet and try to prolong them artificially, they will all get weaker and weaker, and fewer and fewer, and you will be a bored, disillusioned old man for the rest of your life.”

It’s really hard to only choose two things….I think the chapter on Is Christianity Hard or Easy? was very challenging and convicting because it dealt with how I say that I want to follow Jesus and grow more spiritually mature and be controlled by the Spirit, yet, as Lewis wrote, “We are hoping all the time that when all the demands have been met, the poor natural self will still have some chance, and some time, to get on with its own life and do what it likes….and the real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals and the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back, in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view….”

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    I always look forward to your posts, Susan — and I smiled to see that I had loved those two quotes too. I think we did all help one another get through a hard book!

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2. What do you think you will remember about this summer’s journey:
    A. From this group
That being in a cyberspace Christian fellowship can be fun and as edifying as face-to-face encounters. Well, maybe second best. I love the diversity in our group.
    B. From Mere Christianity (Choose two things)
a.  The king has landed. “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.”
b.  [The love of God]…is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and therefore it is relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.

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1.  What stood out is the beauty of warm fellowship, and how much I’ve come to enjoy reading the different perspectives.

 

2.  What will I remember?

A.  From this group….the tenaciousness of tackling this book. I had no idea going in how difficult it would be. While we all struggled at times, sharing that kept most of us in.

B.  From Mere Christianity….I promise I will dig back through and find the things that most spoke to me, but I am really lousy at having them come to mind easily. And yes, I confess I looked ahead.

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    Mary — I truly wondered who would be left by the end, and was delightfully surprised too at the tenaciousness of this dear group!

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1.What stands out to you from the above and why? How you remembered what we said and who said it. It would have taken me weeks to go back and figure all of that out!

2. What do you think you will remember about this summer’s journey:
    A. From this group –The honesty of everyone, whether it was in disagreement, confusion or confession. We can’t honestly relate to each other unless we relate honestly (if that makes sense).
    B. From Mere Christianity (Choose two things)–1. A different way to look at sin and culture. Putting on an act to look good is sometimes more sinful than what most Christians would define as sin.   2. Lewis’ way of not backing down from hard questions and admitting that non-Christians have valid points in the asking of these questions; he’s not condescending. He seems open and friendly to believers and unbelievers alike.

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    :-)  Yes, Lewis surely shows us how to be winsome with unbelievers!

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2. What do you think you will remember about this summer’s journey: 
    A. From this group 
I’m so glad we have women who want to learn more about themselves and each other. I’m glad we had strong women who weren’t afraid to struggle with me. I’m glad we have Dee!

 
    B. From Mere Christianity (Choose two things)
 

1. Marriage! How getting divorced is like chopping off a body part….YOWZAR! I have shared the doodle with several friends and children of friends who are about to get married and they have all been receptive.

 

2. That we are all little soldiers, trying to be more and more Christ like as our lives progress.

 

 

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1)  Aww Dee, you are so creative….I love how you used your creative genius to include names of those who stuck with you on this very challenging, sometimes tedious, but ohh so rewarding journey!  I join the others in giving you a hearty, appreciative, big round of applause.  And then an encore!  Oh how I thank you for this, as this study has enriched my life in ways that are enfolding already, today.  It has already opened a door of very rich conversation with my daughter-in-law, who loves deep thinking, & is even today  digging deeper.  I’m amazed!  and excited to see what will happen, where this will lead me in the future!  I’m indebted to you for that.  As others have said, I also loved the authenticity of this really special, insightful group of women.  I am forever grateful for the comments & answers to questions, which helped me navigate & understand Lewis, while I was in the midst of all that hair pulling (that picture was about right, except my hair is not quite as blonde ha ha).  I would also like to thank Susan, especially, for her wisdom, insight & answers.  Not to take away from the others.  It’s just that often what she said really helped me understand what the heck Lewis was saying!

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2A) I will remember how busy it was & how tempting it was to give up the study at times.  I am soo glad I did not give in to that temptation.

2B)  Only 2 things?  Whew, that’s hard.  If I have to narrow it down to 2, I guess it would be these:

1st, my “light-bulb moment”, end of C3:  “It begins to look as if we shall have to admit that there is more than one kind of reality; that, in this particular case, there is something above & beyond the ordinary facts of men’s behaviour, and yet quite definitety real– a real law, which none of us made, but which we find pressing on us.”

and, end of C5:  “When the author walks on to the stage the play is over.  God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else–something it never entered your head to conceive–comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left?  For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature.  It will be too late then to choose your side.  There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up.  That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realised it before or not.  Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side.  God is holding back to give us that chance.  It will not last for ever.  We must take it or leave it.”

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    Those are great thoughts, Wendy. I’m so glad you didn’t give up either!

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3. A few things stand out to me:

 

“The change will not be completed in this life, for death is an important part of the treatment. How far the change will have gone before death in any particular Christian is uncertain.”

 

What does this mean? “…for death is an important part of the treatment.”?

 

“Our careless lives set the outer world talking; and we give them grounds for talking in a way that throws doubt on the truth of Christianity itself.”

 

We should reflect Jesus’ demeanor because others will talk. I have had this happen to me. I know I am often “human” and it shows others who may be atheists a bad side of my character. They might think, “whoa, I don’t want to be like her!” Conversely, they might think, “so maybe I could be a Christian too; if she is that bad and still professes Christianity, then I might fit in too.”

 

Lastly,

“It costs God nothing, so far as we know, to create nice things: but to convert rebellious wills cost His crucifixion.”

 

Wow, I’m reminded that I shouldn’t take my Christianity so lightly. Christ died for me. I can have a rebellious will. That’s why He came to earth. That’s why He lived among us. That’s why He died. Thank You Jesus 😢.

    Reply

    Laura…..goosebumps!

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Sunday

2b.  Two things that stood out to me from Mere Christianity was first of all chapter 8 of Book 3 on The Great Sin…pride.  He said many convicting things in that chapter but one thing that really stood out to me and I have tried to be intentional in doing and that is not thinking about myself, especially when I’m with others, but rather focusing on what they have to say and making them feel important.  The other was from chapter 1 Book 4 and seeing the difference between “making and begetting”…was a real eye opener and definitely something to remember when talking to someone who doesn’t believe in the Trinity.

Monday

3.  In sharing comments to the chapter on Nice People or New Men the first question he asks is “If Christianity is true why are not all Christians obviously nicer than all non-Christians?”   I think there are so many factors and some he hits on.  But when all is said and done, his quote “God became man to turn creatures into sons: not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man” sums it up.  Second Corinthians 5:17 say “Therefore; if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold the new has come.”

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4. How does Lewis say we should and should not judge the ability of toothpaste to whiten teeth? What point was he making?

 

If we use the paste our teeth will improve,  and if we use it we should have better teeth than if we didn’t use it. Also, genetics comes into play as well. We may have been born with poor teeth.

Good question! Not sure I am with him here…he goes on to talk about a couple of people; a Christian with a foul mouth, and an atheist who is always pleasant. I guess as Christians, we are able to improve and have a chance to be with Christ who died for us? If we are atheists, all goes when we die. We are just dead. With Christ we have a chance at everlasting life?

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    His point was that instead of comparing a Christian with an atheist, as both might have such different conditions in their life, we should see if the Christian has improved since he became a Christian and continues to improve. Does that make sense?

      Reply

      I guess? I’m getting muddled in this chapter somewhat.

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1.What stands out to you from the above and why?
I enjoyed reading through everyone’s comments! Made me also think about how Dee’s thoughtful questions helped us parse through this book, and also of how wonderfully she facilitates conversation between us. I am also grateful for how she encourages us!
2. What do you think you will remember about this summer’s journey:
    A. From this group
To see the ones who feared at first the “mental gyrations” and “Head spinning” pushed through with such understanding. :)
    B. From Mere Christianity (Choose two things)
 1. “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”- C. S. Lewis. This world echos of Eden yet it is still enemy territory and so what our hearts yearn for, no good thing on this earth can truly satisfy.

2. The chapter on pride-self forgetfulness.

    Reply

    Thanks, Rebecca. You are an encouragement to me!

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Tuesday

4.  Lewis says (a) “That anyone who uses it (Whitesmile’s toothpaste) will have better teeth than the same person would have if he did not use it.  (b) “That if anyone begins to use it His teeth will improve.”  He goes on to say that he uses it and inherited bad teeth and doesn’t have as fine a set of teeth than a healthy young person who never used toothpaste.  That doesn’t prove the advertisement is false.  It’s just saying his teeth were worse to begin with.

I had an upbringing where I had a Father who angered quite easily…he came from an abusive home and had a lot to be angry at.  I would look at my friends fathers who were not Christians and wish my Dad was less reactive to things like theirs.  But that didn’t mean Christianity was false.  I really can’t imagine what my Dad would of been like if he wasn’t a Christian…I think he would of abused us just like his father did to him.  But having Christ in his life he knew he had to squelch those tendacies.  I also wonder what my friends fathers would of been like if they had been Christians…maybe more attentive and loving?  My father is home with his Lord now but as he grew in his relationship with God here on earth he learned that his Heavenly Father loved him unconditionally unlike his earthy father…it was part of his journey.

5.  Having a grumpy Christian neighbor and a friendly atheist neighbor may be the difference in their temperaments and other factors.  We have no idea what is going on behind closed doors so to speak.

6.  I became a Christian at 5 so I really don’t remember my before and after experience.  But I do know that the times I rebelled I was miserable, angry and living for self.  And when I surrendered to Him and got on the right path I was at peace.

7.  “Not respectable” people may be more drawn to Christ than “respectable” people because they see their need more quickly  for a savior…they learn that trying to be good on their own doesn’t work.

8.  Understanding the above truths give me more grace for my brothers and sisters in Christ because God isn’t finished with them yet.  We all have some area, some struggle that God is working on.  Going back to the grumpy Christian neighbor…maybe they’re  lonely, living in pain or struggling in some way.  As a Christian I need to extend grace to them…something the atheist neighbor may not understand.

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3.   Chapter 10.  When people expect a Christian to always be a good person, that is illogical. You need to know who they would have been without Jesus, and then look for any improvement with Him. The past and temperament figures in also. Christ’s goal is not simply for us to be ‘nicer’. Niceness is His gift to us, not our gift to Him. The question to ask, is the person turning to God? God can help us turn to Him, but He will not force it.

God can easily make ‘nice’ people, but to convert rebellious wills cost Him crucifixion. Jesus said ‘blessed are the poor’, and that it is hard for the rich to enter the kingdom. He referred to material wealth, but it is also true for those who are rich in strength or intelligence or skill. For those who are poor mentally, emotionally, in character, they are the lost sheep. It is easier for them to see how much they need Jesus. To be improved is not redemption. We don’t need better people as much as we need transformed people.

 

6.  Two ways I have changed since Christ…

He exchanged my constant angst for a supernatural peace. And for my sense of being trapped in my family and it’s patterns He has given me perspective and distance. It is hard to look back fifty years and recall all the ways I am different. And I came to Him as a teen. Harder still for those like Sharon, who came to Him very young.

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3. Read and or listen to Nice People or New Men and share your comments.

 

I had to read this chapter twice as it was hard for me to follow his logic at times; I would think he was saying one thing until I re-read it. I thought he made a few controversial statements in this part. First, as I saw Laura questioned, what does he mean by, “The change will not be completed in this life, for death is an important part of the treatment”? We talked about this last week. Did Lewis believe in purgatory? Or, as I wondered, is he saying that the process of our being made perfect; I guess the completion of the sanctification process, is somehow ‘completed’ after death with some sort of ‘treatment’? (in the last chapter he said “whatever inconceivable purification it may cost you after death) It sort of makes sense. As far as I know, no one arrives at a perfect, sinless condition in this life, so I guess it happens after we die, and what is involved in finally removing our sin nature from us?

 

This was controversial to me: “The world does not consist of 100 per cent Christians and 100 per cent non-Christians.” I thought the Bible makes it clear that a person is either in one of the two camps; either God is your Father or Satan is. I did not understand this: “There are people (a great many of them) who are slowly ceasing to be Christians but who still call themselves by that name: some of them are clergymen.” How can a believer cease to be a Christian? Did Lewis believe that a person can lose his or her salvation? I don’t understand this at all. It would make more sense to me that these are people who were never really Christians at all, as in “they went out from us because they never were one of us”.

 

Then Lewis said, “There are people in other religions who are being led by God’s secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it.” He gives an example of a Buddhist who could still believe some of the Buddhist teachings but is focusing more on mercy. Then he said, “Many of the good Pagans long before Christ’s birth may have been in this position.” So you can be a “good Pagan”? It sounds as if Lewis believed that all religions, if they contained some similarities to Christianity, led to the same God. So we could say that perhaps a Muslim or a Hindu really belongs to Christ but they don’t know it? So people in other religions really wouldn’t have to convert to Christianity in order to be saved.

 

One point he made that I found very profound was this: we spend so much time judging others, wondering why ‘if he or she is a Christian then why aren’t they nicer’ or whatever….Lewis said, “What can you ever really know of other people’s souls – of their temptations, their opportunities, their struggles? One soul in the whole creation you do know: and it is the only one whose fate is placed in your hands. If there is a God, you are, in a sense, alone with Him. What will all that chatter and hearsay count when the anesthetic fog which we call ‘nature’ or ‘the real world’ fades away and the Presence in which you have always stood becomes palpable, immediate, and unavoidable?”

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    Susan — I thought your explation of suffering when we first see Christ and cleansing us illuminating. Like when Isaiah saw the Lord and the coal touched his lips. That helped me with that.

     

    I too thought the other thing about other religions controversial. I can see how the Buddhist he described could be leaning toward Christ, not not a Christian.

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4. How does Lewis say we should and should not judge the ability of toothpaste to whiten teeth? What point was he making?

 

The toothpaste can’t fix inherently bad teeth. Lewis said he inherited bad teeth from his parents and despite using Whitesmile’s toothpaste, it didn’t improve his teeth, but that doesn’t prove that the advertisements for Whitesmile’s are false. In other words, it’s not the toothpaste’s fault.

In the same way, you can’t say that Christianity is untrue or doesn’t work just because a Christian may have an unkinder tongue than an unbeliever, because each person’s temperament is a result of their early upbringing and natural causes. I would say “to a point”….so my early upbringing was in a home where my mom and dad constantly bickered and argued. I didn’t see an example of a harmonious, loving marriage. (That didn’t happen until the last few years of my mom’s life) Even after becoming a Christian, I said lots of things to my husband that I shouldn’t have said; to be honest, while I was in a Bible study on being a “godly wife”, my husband said to me point blank: “Satan is more of a Christian than you”. And yet, at some point you have to admit that whatever your upbringing or example you had as a child, you are ultimately accountable for your own actions. I couldn’t blame my parents for my tongue and attitudes for the rest of my life, but it was very hard for me and still is, to change in that area.

 

5. Why is it that you may have a lovely atheist neighbor and a grumpy Christian neighbor?

 

Part of it may be their natural temperaments and upbringing, and also Lewis says that in Christianity, the temperament is put under “new management” (God) but the person has to allow that management to take-over. Lewis uses the example of a factory. A factory might not be producing much because it needs new machinery. It takes time to make improvements.

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5. Why is it that you may have a lovely atheist neighbor and a grumpy Christian neighbor?

 

Lewis says that these traits are given to each by God; they are gifts. But they don’t have to do with the notion that either will be saved.

 

6. When you look at your before and after Christ, name two ways you have changed.

 

I don’t worry as I used to. I have given that bit to God; He is in charge.

 

I try to be more positive with each moment in life; to find the good in each painful situation, knowing that He is with me and is trying to help me grow into being more like Him.

 

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    Laura, this is huge – “to find the good in each painful situation, knowing that He is with me and is trying to help me grow into being more like Him.” I’ve sure seen that in you.

      Reply

      👍

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6. When you look at your before and after Christ, name two ways you have changed.

 

I definitely had no conviction of sin before I was a Christian, whether it was an outward behavior or a thought or attitude.

I was very self-centered as in the world revolved around me before I was a Christian; I would like to say that now I think of how I can help others.

 

7. Why might “not respectable” people be more drawn to Christ than “respectable” people?

 

The danger is that, as Lewis says, “If you have sound nerves and intelligence and health and popularity and a good upbringing, you are likely to be quite satisfied with your character as it is. ‘Why drag God into it?’ you may ask.” People who are naturally “nice” often cannot see their need for a Savior. They are the “rich” who find it difficult to enter the Kingdom.

People who are not so respectable, those who know they are “bad” and their attempts at being nice and respectable fail every time, they know they need help. They are often rejected by others, as in Jesus’ day. The good news that God still loves them and wants them is easily accepted.

 

8. How might understanding the above truths give you more grace for brothers and sisters in Christ?

 

I used to be amazed at some people’s testimonies about their salvation: they were angry, bitter, foul-mouthed, or whatever, and when they were saved all that was removed in an instant. They seemed to immediately evolve into a “Superman” sort of Christian. And then I’d look at myself. Why am I so slow to progress? I guess God can choose to do that in some people who He wants to use  for really big things. I shouldn’t judge myself so harshly nor others when I observe their faults and struggles. I don’t know their past, their upbringing, their natural temperament. There’s something else, too. I think people who become a Christian and are discipled one-on-one often do much better. It makes sense that an older, mature believer should come alongside a new believer and help to guide them. In a very large church, I never got that. I’ve always felt that my growth has been slow.

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5. Why is it that you may have a lovely atheist neighbor and a grumpy Christian neighbor?

We don’t know the condition of the atheists or the Christian’s heart. The Christian who is grumpy may not be a Christian or he may be and in the process of growing-he may not have yielded himself to God in this area or whatever is causing him to be grumpy. The atheist could have been brought up well and his environment inducive to this, or he could be on his way to yielding his life to Christ.

6. When you look at your before and after Christ, name two ways you have changed.

1. Before Christ I didn’t hate my sin like I did after Christ.  Before Christ I never kept my word, I would not help others if it was of any inconvenience to me-including family, and I went from man to man looking for love-when things went south I left-it was all about me, oh and I cussed like a sailor-I made up bad words and phrases. After He came to live inside I was grieved by my sin, and a new thing-my hypocrisy! Whereas before I didn’t see any of this and didn’t care.  After Christ I had a very strong desire to help others-and now in the times I am too tired to do so and don’t want to He helps me push through it. He also cleaned up my mouth-that was one of the first things that changed besides being in love with Jesus. :)

2. Before Christ I was known as one who forgives easily but deep down that was because I was afraid of losing a friend. Now, in Christ it is upside down, He calls me to forgive freely whether the relationship continues or not-and sometimes over and over again with the same person-it doesn’t mean I can’t set boundaries with a hurtful person, but my point is that forgiveness isn’t about me, and sometimes I don’t feel like it, but He helps me walk in faith through it trusting Him as He is my ultimate-my true friend so it doesn’t matter if the person accepts it or not-they are freed, I am free-the blessing, but still forgiveness isn’t about me. :)

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    Those are wonderful testimonies Rebecca.

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Wednesday

9.  The last chapter…whew!!!  There’s much in this chapter that Lewis and I would have to agree to disagree on…so won’t bother mentioning them.  But, there’s much in this chapter that I do agree with him on and thought were good.

In number 4 he talks about how the diffusion of Christianity seemed to go like a flash of lightning and how the outer world thought Christianity was dying through persecution and corruption from within.  They thought they’d killed Christ but He rose from the dead!  Lewis says “They keep on killing the thing that He started: and each time, just as they are patting down the earth on its grave, they suddenly hear that it is still alive and has even broken out in some new place.  No wonder they hate us.”  The power of God displayed through mortal man!

The other thing that stood out to me and was very convicting is when we become new men we’re to lose what we now calll ‘ourselves’.  He has much to say about this and will quote a few.  “His (Christ’s) will is to become ours and we are to think His thoughts, ‘to have the mind of Christ’ as the Bible says.  “Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self.”  “There must be a real giving up of the self.”  “The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether.”  “Lose your life and you will save it.”  All to Jesus I surrender!

 

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    Sharon –so many gems and I too was arrested about finding my real self through surrender.

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7.  Why are ‘not respectable’ people more drawn to Christ? When you live in the pit, you have fewer illusions about yourself. You don’t go around thinking how others should be like you. The ‘respectable’ ones think they don’t need anything. They are doing very well on their own, thank you very much. My sister was like that. She was sure she could manipulate her way through anything.

 

8.  Understanding all this gives more grace for others in Christ because you know that you don’t know. I remember God telling me that even I did not know where He took me from or how needy I was for Him. And the Bible tells us not to make judgements, that the Master knows whether they stand or not.

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This week is/ will be rather a whirlwind, so I didn’t feel focused as I read the last 2 chapters.  Even so, I found myself questioning some of Lewis’ writing, such as re other world religions, and the “100%” issue.  I wish I had more time to sit & ponder this, but it will have to wait until we get back from TX.  Oh this Lewis, he sure causes us to do a lot of deeper thinking, doesn’t he!  And I think that is a good thing, a very very good thing.  Any prayers for a fearful flyer would be so appreciated & thanx so much…

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    Wendy — are you the fearful flyer?

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7. Why might “not-respectable” people be more drawn to Christ than “respectable” people?

 

Not respectable people are aware they need help, respectable people think they are “all set.”

 

8. How might understanding the above truths give you more grace for brothers and sisters in Christ?

 

I realize that change at change takes time. It did for me; I’m still changing. It is a process.

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Thursday

14.  Those who are the children of God are “reborn – not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.”

15.  Fred Rogers had such a gentle spirit, gifted with a passion for children and their well being, especially in the world of television.  His kindness and respectability towards the senator was so genuine.

My father-in-Law, Don had the fragrance of Christ.  A man who dearly loved the Lord, very unselfish…always thinking of others.  He had a real impact in my spiritual life and countless lives of others.  I am pleased to say that his son has followed in his footsteps and I thank the Lord for placing them both in my life!

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    He had a huge impact on my Steve’s life too, Sharon. So glad your husband is following in his steps.

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      😍

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14. How does John 1:13 put it? We as children of God “…were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

15. Comments? Who have you known who has the fragrance of Christ? I remember when I saw this clip of Fred Rogers in the movie. For some reason it really stood out to me. I was amazed to see how in a few short minutes a senator who came there fully intending to cut the current funding in half ended up giving $20 million. While I know he couldn’t have been perfect there wasn’t one person who had a negative thing to say about Mr. Roger’s conduct or character both in front of the cameras or in his private life. He was quiet, gentle and strong.

There was a lady named Sharon who led our women’s bible study she was one who was always friendly and kind. She had a way of turning conversations that seemed to be heading toward gossip or complaining back to Christ and she was the one person who really got me thinking seriously about my life as a Christian and what it meant as far as my thoughts and attitude rather just following a set of rules. Sadly she passed away from esophageal cancer 10 years ago.

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    Dawn — great description of Fred Rogers: quiet, gentle, and strong

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    I just read on Facebook that it is Sharon’s birthday today. I’m glad that she came to my mind.

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As far as C.S. Lewis and evolution go his views changed over time. That’s a problem with having anything  you  say “on record”  you may have a far different opinion later in life.
“…he came to see that the evolutionary hypothesis made for bad philosophy, and increasingly came to view its scientific underpinning, in so far as he understood it, as equally as flawed.” “I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milkjug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.’
C.S. Lewis (1898–1963), The Business of Heaven, Fount Paperbacks, U.K., p. 97, 1984.”
From the article “C.S. Lewis and evolution” by Peter Barnes Creation.com April 27, 2007
 

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Dawn, I was glad to read that Lewis changed his mind on evolution!

9.  There was a lot in this chapter I reacted negatively to. For sure the evolution thing. I don’t think that our transformation in Christ is like an evolutionary leap.. When Lewis speaks of Christ as ‘the first instance of the new man’, he forgets that Jesus is not only man, He is also God. Jesus didn’t come to offer us a leap forward. He came to offer us a step back out of sin and into what God created us to be in the first place. When he speaks of recognizing these ‘new’ men, he doesn’t mention forgiveness or restoration at all. The Bible says that believers will be recognized by their love for one another, but also by our confession of Christ. Lewis has none of that. It is as though Jesus was the first, but other than as an example, we don’t need Him. It is only in the last three paragraphs that he speaks of being in Christ and allowing Jesus more and more control of us.

 

15.  Who do I know with the fragrance of Christ?

The first person who comes to mind is my friend, Jolene. She has such a kingdom heart. She is limited physically by MD, but spiritually she is a champion. Another who comes to mind is Doris. Doris asked for prayer throughout her working career and beyond, that God would send prepared hearts her way. And then she would tell of chance encounters where she got to introduce someone to Jesus.

Both these women fit Lewis’ description, but they would instead want to tell you about Jesus.

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Dawn, I was so happy to see that Lewis changed his mind about evolution!

 

9.  There was a lot in this chapter I reacted negatively to. I don’t think our transformation in Christ is an evolutionary leap. When Lewis speaks of Jesus as being the first instance of the new man, he forgets that Jesus is not only man, He is also God. Jesus didn’t come to offer us a leap forward. He came to offer us a step back, out of sin and into what God created us to be in the first place. When he speaks of how to recognize these ‘new men’, he doesn’t mention forgiveness or restoration at all. The Bible says believers can be recognized by their love for one another, but also by our confession of Christ. Lewis had none of that. It was as though Jesus was first, but other than as example, we don’t need Him. It isn’t until the last three paragraphs that he speaks of being in Christ and allowing Jesus more and more control in us.

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15.  Who do I know with the fragrance of Christ?

The first person who comes to mind is my friend, Jolene. She is so kingdom minded. She is limited physically by MD, but there are no limitations on her spirit. She is a champion.

Another who comes to mind is Doris. Doris asked for prayer throughout her working years and beyond that God would send prepared hearts her way. And then she would tell of chance meetings, where she got to introduce someone to Jesus.

Both these women fit Lewis’ descriptions, but they are too busy telling people about Jesus to care.

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Sunday: I’m chiming in at the end but I loved your comments Dee,  about each sister who stuck it out! I did not deserve to be included but one of these days I’ll read the book from start to finish! :)   Dee what stood out to me, was your gift of encouragement & how sweetly & humorously u affirmed each of us. What a blessing you are Dee  :)

I want to thank all of u who have prayed for my daughter & me. I had a lovely time last weekend with her for 3 days, celebrating her new job, which she started Tues. She will be very challenged which is good for her, & I am so relieved & refreshed. BTW, the company had finished their interviewing process & saw Lisa at the last minute, liked her & hired her…. Praise God!

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    Jenny, what a blessing to hear about Lisa! Thank you for sharing.

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    Aww, thanks, Jenny. So glad about your daughter.

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3. Read and or listen to Nice People or New Men and share your comments.
I had a hard time again following the round about way C.S. Lewis took this topic. It makes sense to me when I finally got it but just can’t put my thoughts into words. Just know that all of my natural bent towards a good nature still will not make me a Christian. Which is good because I know I can not sustain that through a lifetime here on earth! The illustration of Dick and Miss Bates was very good. 

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15.  Who have you known who has the fragrance of Christ?

Dee Brestin: She fits all of the above and when I talk with her, face to face, she really listens, is quiet, gentle and thoughtful in her response AND in her actions. When I am struggling and share with her, she looks up at me with the intensity of His love flowing out from Her-His care and passion. She also puts aside hinderances that might cause her to go off track in her passion to do what God has called her to do which is Her speaking, writing, The Orchard plant, and jail ministry with D.U. She models what communion with God looks like for even with a glance at me when I see her, I know she is listening to Him.

Twila Quenzer: She too fits all of the above. His presence in her knocked me out of my socks when I first met her. She is so full of His word but you wouldn’t know it at first because she draws you in with his love just by how she listens and responds and waits to respond. BOY when talking with her about things that matter she is so wise. She never makes you feel like she is more mature even though she is. :)

I have two more but I have to get ready for work, and am late. :) I would love to retire so I can spend more time here in the mornings. :) :) Love you all.

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    You are such an encouraged, Rebecca — and I’ll show Twila what you wrote!

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Wanted you  all to see what Dawn discovered about Lewis in a later book — he regretted making an analogy to evolution as he found the theory flawed. See above!

 

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Happy Birthday Sharon — Dawn let us know!

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Happy Birthday, Sharon! May you have a grace filled day!!

 

16.  Two quotes.

Marriage is one flesh, one organism, just like a lock and key are one mechanism.

God isn’t interested in compromise, but in transformation. We can’t stay an egg and learn to fly. We either hatch or go bad.

 

This has been an interesting study that was certainly stretching. Thank you , Dee for all your hard and consistent work!

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Thanks for the Birthday wishes, but it’s not my birthday…I think Dawn was talking about the “Sharon” who showed the fragrance of Christ in her life! 😊

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    Okay! Well, a very happy unbirthday to you!!!

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    Yes, you are right!

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14. Neither is it something that is reproduced sexually. How does John 1:13 put it?

 

Fav scripture reading to dance! For those who believe in Him He gave the right to become children of God; born not of blood or flesh, but of God.

 
15. Comments? Who have you known who has the fragrance of Christ? 
 

Oh for the days of Mr. Rogers neighborhood! I was fortunate enough to be a child who watched it in the 70’s.  I watch “Daniel Tigers Neighborhood” with the babies.

 

I went on to watch the interview with Mrs. Rogers (Megan Kelly) and the producer to the documentary “Won’t you be my Neighbor,” and ended up feeling very weird about a few similarities Mrs. Rogers and I have in common! For one, she is a concert pianist and went to both Rollins College and Florida State University. My dad was a concert pianist who went to and taught at FSU, and my mom taught at Rollins College. I am from Orlando and she is from Jacksonville. She has lived in Pittsburgh for years and my mom was from Pittsburgh! My son goes to college in Pittsburgh….wow….so weird to me!

 

My mom worked in mental health in South Georgia/north Florida for over 30 years. Mr. Rogers is a testimony as to how people can be helped with their perception of themselves before they do something drastic to either themselves or others that can’t be reversed. It’s not about guns, drugs, and race. Those are side issues that seem to be the problem, however it really is about mental health. We should think about pouring more money and effort into really helping people who need it versus other things we taxpayers have to pay for (university studies about shrimp that exercise?!). My mom worked at a state hospital at one point. When they shut the state hospitals down (think “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest”) they lost the good things along with the bad. The counselors I have seen with my children over the past 20 years are awful too. I finally have found one who is a Christian and I would never go to anyone who wasn’t these days. It seems that the psychologists/psychiatrists are more interested in money than in actually helping people. It is sad, because my mom would have done her job for free. I think Mr. Rogers would have also.

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    Seems your family was a part of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood! That’s a lot of “coincidences”….

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Friday

16.  There are many quotes that I want to remember but the following two really stood out to me during our study.

1). “A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.”

2). “As long as you are proud you cannot know God.  A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”

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Couldn’t keep up this week but would like to comment here on the last questions.
15. Comments? Who have you known who has the fragrance of Christ?
So many, not to mention, you, Dee and the ladies here in this blog.
My best friend, Julie. She gives and she gives and she gives some more.
My 96 year old friend, Rollie. Though diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, he continues to be upbeat and while in heart he says, “I am ready, Lord. Take me home,” he is there with you as joyful as can be when you visit with him.
My Nigerian friend, Bayo. He is so calm and the best thing is he listens very, very well.
Friday: We remember best what we articulate ourselves.
16. Please dig out two quotes you really want to remember from Mere Christianity.
Again, so many! But here are 2.
A warning:
Pride leads to every other vice; it is the complete anti-God state of mind.
A comfort:
Though our feelings come and go, (God’s) love does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.
Saturday:
17. What do you think you’ll remember from this week’s discussion?
I want to stay close to Christ and experience a good “infection” and be His fragrance to those I encounter. I want Him to be recognized in me.

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I wanted to share what my students wrote on their warm up journals re: Mr. Rogers quote: “Feelings are mentionable and manageable”. First I was surprised to see one entry (out of 35 students) say she did not understand the quote! Oh my! Anyway, I encouraged the ones who were unsure of the meaning or just plain slacking LOL to listen to what their other classmates have to say, take their notebook back and write their thoughts. For the most part, they got it-feelings are ok and it is ok to share but share it at the right time in a good way. One said, if it is not a good feeling, perhaps one should think about it first and learn to manage it rather than blurting it out to somebody. One entry said she stuffs her feelings but then end up ruining relationships. Wow-some of these 16-18 year old kids share from their hearts in paper. I meant to use these insights as prompts to pray for my students. Thank you, Lord for this opportunity.

 

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    That’s so good, Bing. You are bringing the light of Christ to your students and making a difference. Remind me — this is not a Christian school — right?

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      You are correct, Dee. I am teaching in a public school. So careful about where to draw the line but I know I also have rights. Have connected with Eric and Kim Buehrer, founders of Gateway for Better Education in how to share biblical principles in a public school setting. Their materials are excellent.

        Wonderful Bing!

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    Good idea Bing! I may steal for my ninth grade babies. I like the prayer part as well. I sometimes pray for my students as I grade their papers.

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      Laura, thanks for the encouragement. I will also use your idea on praying for my students as I grade their papers. That would take the mundane out of it. And I know God will hear our prayers for them.

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    Bing, I really like and admire your idea of having your students write in a “warm up journal”. You are getting them to think and open up about themselves.

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      Thanks, Susan. I started this a few years back and called it “bell ringers” but it sure has evolved from just an academic exercise to something more. I am seeing so much hunger for real love among my students. I try to tie it up with practical insights into caregiving. This year one of our Professional development goals is to encourage emotional competence among the students. There is a lot of materials out there about it but I know only God can change hearts. I do believe in the influence of a teacher so I pray I am doing what God wants me to do to be an influencer for Him.

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15. I forgot to mention people who have the fragrance of Christ. My mom was once and an acquaintance at our former church. I felt the spirit of Jesus in her when I was around her; I remember I told her this one time.

 

16. I’ve been trying to figure out a couple of quotes from the book as my take away and have come up with these:

 

Regarding marriage and churches:

“I mean, they all regard divorce as something like cutting up a living body, as a kind of surgical operation.”

 

And the the last two pages of the book made me cry:

“Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”

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    When I went back and read this again I realized how I worded it was funny. My mom always showed me Christ (not just once!).

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By the way Dee, this week is definitely one to book mark for future reference!

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    :-) Thanks — it was a lot of work so nice to hear! But gave me such joy too.

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9. Read or listen to the last chapter and share your thoughts.

 

There was a lot of great stuff in the chapter! I liked this: “The present wicked and wasteful divisions between us are, let us hope, a disease of infancy: we are still teething.” Interesting that Lewis describes the divisions within Christianity as not only wasteful – as they surely are a waste of time and a distraction from the gospel, but he also says they are wicked.

 

That Christianity cannot be killed: “They keep on killing the thing that He started and each time, just as they are patting down the earth on its grave, they suddenly hear that it is still alive and has even broken out in some new place. No wonder they hate us.” Jesus said that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against His church.

 

I, too, absolutely loved Lewis’ description of “new men” who can really be recognized as such: “Their very voices and faces are different from ours: stronger, quieter, happier, more radiant. They begin where most of us leave off. They do not draw attention to themselves. You tend to think that you are being kind to them when they are really being kind to you. They love you more than other men do, but they need you less. They usually seem to have a lot of time.” Now, I only wish this was descriptive of me!

 

This is so true: “We must get over wanting to be needed: in some goodish people, specially women, that is the hardest of all temptations to resist.” I admit that I want to be needed by others! It makes me feel like I have a purpose in life. Is that always a bad thing?

 

The last couple of paragraphs were really rich. Lewis discusses how we truly “become ourselves”. It happens when we get what we call ourselves out-of-the-way. This so goes against what our culture/world teaches us about being ourselves, being an individual. By living a God-less life, what I’m really doing is being controlled by my own heredity, upbringing, surroundings and natural desires. Lewis says, “In fact what I so proudly call ‘Myself’ becomes merely the meeting place for trains of events which I never started and which I cannot stop. What I call ‘My wishes’  becomes merely the desires thrown up by my physical organism or pumped into me by other men’s thoughts or even suggested to me by devils.” Much of what we call “ourselves” doesn’t even originate within us – it is external and we take it in!

 

Lewis writes that when we give ourselves up to His Personality, we can begin to have a personality of our own. But it has to be real. BUT, Lewis warns, don’t go to Jesus with this as your agenda! If I come to Him so I can get my own personality, I’m not really coming to Him at all. This is easier said that done….to seek after Him for Him alone. But Lewis says that “….your real, new self will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him.”

 

The final warning of Lewis is very solemn: LOOK FOR YOURSELF AND YOU WILL FIND IN THE LONG RUN ONLY HATRED, LONELINESS, DESPAIR, RAGE, RUIN, AND DECAY.

The only hope: BUT LOOK FOR CHRIST AND YOU WILL FIND HIM, AND WITH HIM EVERYTHING ELSE THROWN IN.

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    You do know how to mine gold, Susan.

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14. Neither is it something that is reproduced sexually. How does John 1:13 put it?

 

Children of God are born again – it is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but from God.

 

15. Comments? Who have you known who has the fragrance of Christ?

 

I cried all the way through that video clip! Oh how I loved Mr. Rogers….I used to sit right there with my kids and watch Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. I think I loved the program as much as they did. He speaks to the child that is still inside of me, with its hurts and fears from childhood. At the beginning of Rogers’ testimony, the senator, while not outright rude, seemed a bit “testy” and impatient. But you could see how he was just drawn in by Fred Rogers – his face even softened, and at the end he was asking to see for himself! Mr. Rogers was so winsome, patient….he wasn’t demanding to be heard, he was explaining his deeply held beliefs about children and why they were so important to him, and why he was so concerned for them.

 

I can’t say I’ve met too many people who compare to Fred Rogers. Sometimes, (a guilty confession) I’ve looked around a room filled with Christian women and wondered why everyone is sitting there unsmiling and why some don’t ever talk to anyone except maybe their one or two close friends. Why you can’t ever seem to get past the superficial level with so many.

I had a Bible study teacher in the past who truly displayed an exemplary love toward others. Her ministry was mainly to women and she just loved each and every woman for who they were and where they were; she didn’t ever display jealousy or gossip. She just loved.

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16. Please dig out two quotes you really want to remember from Mere Christianity.

 

“The whole dance, or drama, or pattern of this three-Personal life is to be played out in each one of us: or each one of us has got to enter that pattern, take his place in that dance. There is no other way to the happiness for which we were made.”

 

This is a wonderful invitation. I kind of picture the Trinity holding hands in a circle and the circle being opened up for me, and I then join hands with “Them”.

This next quote is what will prevent me from entering into that dance:

 

“The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self – all your wishes and precautions – to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call ‘ourselves’, to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be ‘good’. “

I can’t join hands in that circle if my hands are full of my own idols.

 

17. What do you think you’ll remember from this week’s discussion?

 

I have liked reading everyone’s comments throughout this study….it has helped to put the whole book together, like solving a puzzle. We all asked questions, wondered what some things meant. What I’d like to remember from this week are Lewis’ thoughts on transformation. Even the believer has to offer his or her nature to God to cooperate with Him in order to change. And we really don’t know all the factors that have contributed to make up a person’s personality, so we shouldn’t judge. A person’s temperament isn’t proof of whether or not Christianity works.

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Saturday

17.  I think what I’ll remember from this weeks discussion is the importance of dying to self and keeping our gaze upwards.        
 We are all a work in progress…transformation is hopefully taking place and our lives are producing the sweet fragrance of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Work has been too hectic this week to get on blog regularly, but I loved reading everyone’s comments & quotes!

BING, It is so exciting to hear what u are doing with your students!

I pray that I can be the fragrance of Christ as I go about seeing my patients every day, in Home Health. Also with my neighbors & whovever the Lord chooses to bring across my path.

My mom gives off the fragrance of Christ…at least she did before her dementia set in, but even now she lights up when singing hymns or talking about the Lord. She has been a loving listener, encourager, & she would always come alongside those in need & give comfort & practical help.

Also many sister/ friends that emit the fragrance of Christ. In their passion to help the less fortunate & downtrodden. In the way they volunteer their time, & show compassion.

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Jenny-thanks for the encouragement. I sense God’s help as I go along in my teaching at school. He is good.

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