community

Girlfriends & Bookends – Unspiritual Community

If you are joining us for the  first time, we are reading through Becoming A True Spiritual Community by Larry Crabb. We would love to have you join us. It’s a very casual time to turn the pages of our book together in an attempt to learn more about community. Feel free to look back over some of the comments from our previous chapters.

Laura sent us a snapshot of her reading all the way from Hawaii. Let’s try NOT to be jealous :-).

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I wish we didn’t have to look at Unspiritual Community in order to understand more clearly Spiritual Community.  In talking with a friend recently about a particular topic, she urged me “un-teach us before you teach us.”

Larry says in Unspiritual Community “we tend to either hide our problems or parade them.  In neither case do we give. There is no reflection of the life of the Trinity.” I wrote a note in the book (I am good for making my marks like that) that reads…evidenced In “giving”.

I’ve spent time on both ends of the extremes he mentions. On neither end did I find peace. I’ve experienced firsthand becoming exhausted with the playing it safe. The relationships I long for now are the ones in which I am invited to unveil my brokenness and yet not rejected. Relationships where admitting brokenness leads to invitation to grow through it. Together. Walking alongside one or a few others.

I love Larry’s description of the spiritual friends we need: “..broken people who will provide safety for us to be broken, caring people who want us to live and believe we can live well, giving people who pour the life they have received from God into us, people of vision, who see the Spirit shaping us into the image of Christ. Without them, we settle for much less.”

Lord, please help me to keep from hiding, self-preserving, seeking only consolation and conforming to moral principles. You are my only hope.

How about you?

Did something speak to you in this chapter about unlearning? We would LOVE to hear.

 

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Girlfriends & Bookends ~ What It Is

Happy Thursday Girlfriends! If you are reading Legacy from the Leather for the first time, we are reading from Becoming A True Spiritual Community by Larry Crabb.

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Today we have a picture of Laura curling up in Hawaii, where she lives. Funny thing is, she didn’t show us her face. Maybe later? ANyway, I am hoping she will be able to jump on here at some point and share what the chapters are speaking to her.

The chapter opens with the first line capturing my attention. “The church is a community of people on a journey to God.” I love it. And Larry says a bit later, speaking of intentional time spent with loved ones, “Like manna, our time spent together was food that nourished us…stirred a hunger for more.”

We are inclined to help answer one another’s problems. It is what comes naturally to us. When we love someone, we want to be able to offer something, anything, to help.

I love how Larry encourages us to really learn to listen to one another. To really hear. To pay attention to where God is leading. Not just leading the other, but first, leading me. When I take the time to prepare my heart before God to enter my relationships and be led by him, only then can I be sensitive to where God is moving.

I will be challenged by his quote of CS Lewis – “Put first things first and second things are thrown in.” If I make hearing God and being led by him and my worship of him my first thing then I will be able to approach the second things, the harder more complex things knowing it is the “first thing” that will carry me through. And it will carry those I do life with and love as well.

He closes the chapter with a question. Asking why this type of community is so rare. He says “I suspect it has to do with the requirement of brokenness. We’d much rather be impressively intact than broken. But only broken people share spiritual community.”

Plain and simple. That’s the kind of community Karen Trigg longs for. A community that is NOT perfect. A place where we accept one another’s brokenness and invite one another to walk toward God together.

How about you?

What spoke to you this week?

 

 

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Girlfriends & Bookends – It’s Worth It

Hello Girlfriends!

We read this week about developing community not being so easy to do. But we’re also encouraged though it’s not easy, it’s worth it.

If you didn’t get a chance to comment on last weeks post, please feel free to go back and share.

Feel free to “reply” to comments others have posted as well.

Kristy took time to stop in to Dunkin Donuts to grab a cup of coffee and a donut while she turned the pages this week.image

Larry opens the chapter with the comment “We need each other, never more than when we are most broken.” He goes on to say “A central task of community is to create a place that is safe enough for the walls to be torn down, safe enough enough for each of us to own and reveal our brokenness. Only then can the power of connecting do its job. Only then can community be used of God to restore souls.”

Isn’t that what God is all about? Restoration. And as much as was written referring to one another in the bible, seems to me God wanted to use us in relationship to help facilitate the process of restoration.

I think the thing that spoke most to me from this chapter is that we as Christians aren’t comfortable with the struggle. Our own or others. For ourselves we think we need to get it right and not show it if we don’t. For others, we think we need to fix them or lead them to the answer, because we are the ones who have a list of answers. When really, we could be just be sitting with them and listening. Or walking with them and asking questions instead of trying to have or be the answer. I’ve been the one who thinks I need to have an answer. Why is that? When I know what I really need in community is someone who will really see me. Really hear me. And in order for them to do that I need them sometimes just to “be with” me. The simplicity of letting me be where I am and caring enough to just recognize where I am struggling. That somehow gives me permission to begin to work through the struggle. For me to begin to ask the questions.

This chapter, for me, reminds me that our job is not to be a community of fixers, but challenges me that the real and critical thing we all need is more people who are willing to walk with us toward our true source of hope. God. Not our own answers. Our own ideas of what it might take to fix the problem.

Sometimes we just need someone to sit with us. Just sit.

We think its most important to have the answers when really what we all need most is the discernment of the Holy Spirit rather than moving and thinking and speaking on our own. I personally am desperate to be led by this discernment. It only comes when I take the time to allow my thinking to be changed (transformed) by being in God’s word and prayer. {Romans 12:2}. I want to be led from this place rather than what seems “right” to me.

We agreed in our Gathering Place Group that it’s healthy that we don’t necessarily stand in agreement with some points that were made in the chapter. We talked about those points. Feel free to do so here as well. Let’s always turn it away from pointing fingers at others and instead turn back toward ourselves and ask what am I learning from this.

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Grateful you are here.

HIS,

karen

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Join us for Girlfriends & Bookends

Girlfriends & Bookends -1I am excited to invite you to turn the pages with us over the next couple of months or so.

Watch this video to hear more about a community of women gathering to read and grow together. We will begin Girlfriends & Bookends Online NEXT THURSDAY and post weekly inviting your discussion. Watch here for more detail.

Order the book – Becoming a True Spiritual Community by Larry Crabb

Leave a comment to let us know if you would like to join us.

Welcome Lisa, Jennifer, Kristy, Elizabeth, Lauren & Sarah!

So excited that you have already signed up to turn the pages with us. Be sure to watch the video for details.

Please contact me with any questions.

HIS,

karen

 

Napkin Talk

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Let me first say beginning this hopeful year of 2013, I am grateful for your eyes upon my words each time you slow down enough to read about something that matters greatly.

Real women. Doing real life. Seeking a very real God.

I had lunch with a friend recently who shared the impact of friendship on her. I went one step further and asked what she feels her greatest needs are in friendships with other women.

Of course because we were on a lunch date, that meant as any right-minded friend would do when they knew they are getting ready to hear something profound, I grabbed a napkin and a pen.

What she shared is something think many of us can relate to.

The simplicity of the words written on the brown paper napkin, when applied to relationships between women become a gift of indescribable value.

Speaking truth in love

Prayer / Intercession

Encouragement consisting of:

  • Building one another up
  • Helping one another to see strengths when we cannot see them
  • Helping one another to see progress when we cannot see it ourselves
  • Conversation leading back to scripture

In a recent service at my church, one of my Pastor’s spoke on proclaiming Christ to all peoples. “That’s our purpose” he said. He went on to share three ways we proclaim Christ.

Beautifully Simple

Life Giving

1 ~ Our Words

2 ~ Our Works

3 ~ Community

Community is what we are talking about when we are sharing life together in friendship. Life-giving. The way we choose to live in relationship together. The way we choose to love one another. The way we choose to care for one another. The way we choose to speak life into one another’s lives. How do we choose our words? Our works? Or what we choose to do to serve one another?

Simply and beautifully stated…our purpose is to proclaim Christ. For everything we say and do to point to Him. None of us is perfect, but even in our weakness and shortcomings,the way we choose to respond, even to them, can point to Him.

When Jesus had finished washing the disciples feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (John 13:12-17)

Jesus Himself has given us the greatest example of how to love one another. And He calls us to do just that. To love as He loved.

2 Questions:

What do you need in friendships with women?

What gifts can you give in friendships with women?

I would love to hear from you.

GHH PPL Flowers

I’ll be giving away 4 copies of Max Lucado’s Grace Happens Here. Leave a comment to be entered for the drawing to win a copy!

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