Sea Turtle

{Rooted} “Anything” Study – Week 3: Scrapbooks, Sea Turtles & Abandoning Entitlement, Fear & This Life

scrapbook

scrapbook (click for source)

Hello Rooted Ladies,

Can you all believe that we are already entering week 3 of our “Anything” study? {It’s still not too late to join!} I don’t know about you all but Chapters 5-7 have really started dismantling many of the things and views that I hold dear. I’m feeling a little “called out,” shall we say. My old vision board was my version of the scrapbook that Allen mentions in Chapter 6. Can anyone relate?

But I’m jumping ahead….

{Note: This week we cover a lot in three chapters. Please feel free to take these chapters and questions at your own pace.}

Chapter 5: normal drug: abandoning entitlement

This chapter had me pondering new concepts like “sold out” for God. And it made me wonder if I’m really just “sold out” to the world. My ideas of what my life should look like seem to resemble more what the status quo image of success is – – rather than living for God.

1. On page 41, Allen talks about normality. She says “I just don’t want to be normal.

  • How do you think your life so far has measured up to what you thought it would look like?
  • What have you learned about God and yourself through this?
  • Are you living a “normal life” or a “sold out” life?
  • How do we balance living sold out and security?
  • Has real life and responsibilities pressed God out?

2. Read James 1:27.

What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world.

  • What worldly things or ways of thinking do you need to let go of in order to make God your top priority?

3. On page 43, Allen says, “If God did not give us and our kids a safe and comfortable life, was He holding out on us?”

  • What gifts from God have become expectations in your heart?
  • Read Luke 16:13.

“No servant can be the slave of two masters; such a slave will hate one and love the other or will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

4. Read Ephesians 2:10.

“God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.”

  • What do you need to do differently in your life so that it reflects a belief that you are a crucial part of the eternal story God has written? What doubts do you need to press through?

5. Read Matthew 6:19-20.

“Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. Instead, store up riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal.”

  • How are you investing in the “’other normal’…that is invisible, lasts forever and does not fall down” (pg 46)?

7. Allen writes that God does not compete (pg 47).

  • Is there anything that could be keeping you from hearing God?
  • Read Jeremiah 29:13.

“You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart.”

8. I don’t know about you all, but I’m having a tough time just giving up “everything” and surrendering.

  • Are you willing to trade a life of entitlement for a life of true surrender?

Spend some time with God today confessing the things you have held as expectations. If you are willing, offer Him your heart in complete surrender knowing that He accepts you fully.

Chapter 6: scrapbooks: abandoning fear

So, this chapter really resonated with me. I’ve had 5-year and 10-year plans… vision boards, which resembled the scrapbook described on pages 51-52. I’ve created all sorts of documents to plan out my life. Yes, I created. I created. Not God created. Not seeking His will. Can anyone relate? In what ways are you “scrapbooking” (pg 51) the life you want so that you can picture it?

1. Read down the list on page 53.

  • Can you share a time when God let you suffer or asked you to sacrifice in a way that messed up your scrapbook?
  • Read Romans 9:21-22.

“Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction…”

2. For me, this chapter helped surface a lot of things that I am afraid of and have not truly surrendered to God.

  • What are you most afraid of?
  • What may be the very worst thing that God may allow you to suffer?
  • Is there a time when you felt like God was holding out on you (pg 54).

3. On page 55, Allen says, “God allowed Satan to take everything from Job but his life because Job feared God more than anything…he suffered most because he feared most. This is consistent with the life of Paul and most perfectly in the life of Christ.”

  • Read God’s response to Job in Job 38-41.

“[W]hen the dust runs into a mass and #the clods stick fast together? Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in their thicket? Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God for help, and wander about for lack of food?”

  • What was Job’s reply in Job 42:1-6?

Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. “Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?” Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. “Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.” I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

  • Is this your response to God in the midst of suffering?

5. In what ways has your view of the “high calling” of God changed from when you were first saved until now? Have you seen in your own life that it is also a “costly calling” (pg 56)? What are some examples?

6. On page 57, Allen gives the definition of abandon – (1) to leave completely and finally; forsake utterly. (2) to give up the control of. (3) to yield (oneself) without restraint or moderation. (4) to surrender one’s claim to, right to, or interest in. (5) to give up entirely.

  • What are the little go’s that become exposed when you consider letting go of everything? Write them down and pray through them with God.

7. Read 2 Corinthians 4:17.

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison

Now read 2 Corinthians 11:24-28.

Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.

  • How do you think Paul is able to call these things “light affliction”? Give scripture to support your answer.

10. Read Hebrews 12:1-3.

As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God’s throne. Think of what he went through; how he put up with so much hatred from sinners! So do not let yourselves become discouraged and give up.

  • From the verse’s list, discuss one way scripture encourages us to persevere through trials in your life?

11. One of my favorite lines from this book has been on page 59, where Allen describes the line she won’t forget: “You have to thank God for the seemingly good and the seemingly bad because really, you don’t know the difference.”

  • Do you think this is true? How does this make you feel about your struggles?
  • Share a time when God has been an anchor to you (pg 58).
  • Share a struggle in your life that has “defined the most beautiful things about you” (pg 59).
  • In what ways has this struggle given you more of God?
  • In what ways have you defined God on your own terms (pg 60)?
  • Share a time when you were able to take hold of more of God through a broken dream?

Chapter 7: eighty years: abandoning this life

{and Sea Turtles}

Sea Turtle

Sea Turtle Hatching (click for source)

This chapter really had me thinking about heaven. Is it real? How much do I really believe heaven is real? Are any of you pondering heaven this week?

1. On page 64, Allen quotes Tim Keller. Keller says: if you love anything more than God, even though you believe in God, if there is anything more important to your own identity or significance than God, then it is a false god and it is a power in your life.

  • Is there anything more important to your own identity or significance than God? If so, what?

Jennie gives a great clue to figuring out what those things are on page 64, “You have an extreme reaction when those things are threatened.”

2. Read Eccl 7:2-4.

It is better to go to a home where there is mourning than to one where there is a party, because the living should always remind themselves that death is waiting for us all. Sorrow is better than laughter; it may sadden your face, but it sharpens your understanding. Someone who is always thinking about happiness is a fool. A wise person thinks about death.

  • Does heaven feel far away to you?
  • Is there a time when it came close enough for you to taste it (pg. 65).

3. On page 67-68, Allen gives Tommy Nelson’s speech about the devil.

  • What stands out as the way or ways that the devil is most trying to attack you now?
  • Is there anything that might be numbing you to the pertinent nature of the gospel (pg 68) and if so, what?
  • Are there any places where you are just stuck?

4. I love the story about the sea turtles on page 67. The imagery of the turtles breaking out of the eggs buried in the sand is amazing.

  • How many of us are not even as wise as the sea turtles?
  • Are we following (or listening to) the voice inside of us, leading us to the joy that God had in store for us?

5. Read Luke 14:25-35. Has there been a time when the cost of following Christ became real to you?

6. Read Genesis 12:1-4.

“The LORD said to Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s home, and go to a land that I am going to show you. I will give you many descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will bless you and make your name famous, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, But I will curse those who curse you. And through you I will bless all the nations.” When Abram was seventy-five years old, he started out from Haran, as the LORD had told him to do; and Lot went with him.”

  • Have you considered that God’s call on your life may include a physical move from all that you know and all that is familiar? Share a time when God called you to step out and go.
  • Read Psalm 139:9-10. If I flew away beyond the east or lived in the farthest place in the west, you would be there to lead me, you would be there to help me.

7. Read Genesis 17 & 18. Share a time when God came through for you in a way that seemed impossible by the world’s standards.

8. Read Genesis 22:1-19 & Exodus 20:3, “Worship no god but me.”

  • Is there anything God is asking you to “kill” in your life so that he can have your primary affection?

As we close this chapter, I am left with the following questions. I’d love for your help with them.

Allen writes on page 70-71 about renouncing everything. Luke 14:33: Christ said, “So, therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” This literally covers everything.

  • Are we ready to renounce everything?
  • Can we give up our “normal” and completely “sell out” for God?
  • Can we give up our false gods like money, career, houses with picket fences, and the other pretty pictures of our lives (i.e., our scrapbooks)?
  • Are we okay to suffer if (or when) God’s plan for our lives calls for it?
  • Are we ready to really listen to the quiet voices inside of us, like the sea turtles?
  • Are we ready to give God everything?

Bible Verses to Ponder

In closing out this section, read Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:14-16, 2 Timothy 1:7-8, and Isaiah 51:12-13. God loves us so much that He was pleased to send His perfect Son to die for us. He didn’t do it begrudgingly. He does not want us to go around as the passage in Isaiah says, “fearing all day long”. His plan for us does include suffering. He desires for us to run to Him in the midst of it.

Let’s all spend some time in prayer this week. Let’s confess our fears to God. Ask Him for enough faith to walk us through whatever the story of our life may hold. Ask for eyes to see above our short time here and the fears that invade us so that we may press on toward the lives He has for us. Reread Hebrews 12:1-3 and Ephesians 6:10-18.

Wishing you a wonderful week of pondering, questioning, discerning, and moving towards surrendering,

Hope & Karina

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