Chapter One – an emptier / fuller life
“Just that maybe…maybe you don’t want to change the story, because you don’t know
what a different ending holds.”
*Reflection* Think about your story and perhaps learn, or at least try, to be grateful and know that the bad that happened kept the worse from happening.
Chapter Two – a word to live…and die by
*Reflection* How do we live fully so we are fully ready to die?
“I longed for more life, for more holy joy.”
Eucharisteo is grace + thanksgiving = joy
*Reflection* Do we know those who are born-again but not yet born-anew?
*Reflection* What joy-wonder means to you.
“Jesus gave thanks even in the face of failure (Matthew 11); in the stumbling down of hope.”
“Our very saving is associated with our gratitude.”
Chapter Three – first flight
“If we thirst, we have to drink.”
*Challenge* We must DO something to quench thirst.
If you want to change the world, pick up your pen. Martin Luther
*Often people are changed or challenged to change after a great and sorrowful event. We begin exercise programs after receiving a bad cholesterol result or worse, suffering a severe heart attack. We become more thankful after losing something that perhaps we took for granted. We become more humble when confronted with our own prideful self.
“I testify: life-changing gratitude does not fasten to a life unless nailed
through with one very specific nail at a time.” Voskamp
“Some days I pick up a camera and it is a hammer.” Voskamp
*Reflection* In your life what has the hammer been used on? Name your nails:
*Challenge* The naming of moments. Do this every day.
Chapter Four – a sanctuary of time
Only God can make time; we can either take it, lose it, or watch it slip by.
“Scrape away the regrets of my life lived (as) amateur.”
*Challenge* Explain how and when and why your moments of living life amateur.
“I just want to do my one life well.”
“It’s sleuthing for the glory.”
*Reflection* Lunch with the children and the chocolate melts. Voskamp enters fully in the moment.
*Challenge* Remember a time when you fully entered a moment of special time.
Chapter Five – what in the world, in all this world, is grace?
*Reflection* The HARD eucharisteo.
“All human relationships end in loss.”
“Am I prepared for this?”
*Reflection* Ann’s prayer on pages 94-95
*Challenge* Live Full!
…that suffering nourishes grace, and pain and joy are arteries of the same heart –
and mourning and dancing are but movements in His unfinished symphony of
beauty. Can I believe the gospel, that God is patiently transfiguring all the
notes of my life into the song of His Son?
“God is always good and I am always loved.”
*Reflection* We all have had seasons of hard eucharisto; or, we will have. During those times how did God demonstrate His grace toward you?
*Challenge* Lamentations 3:31-33 states that the Lord causes grief – yet shows compassion. He does not afflict willingly nor grieve willingly. Do those scriptures bring upset or peace to your soul?
Chapter Six – what do you want ~ the place of seeing God
“Every moment I live, I live bowed to something. And if I don’t see God – I’ll bow
down before something else (or, someone else).”
*Reflection* Living with our eyes wide open. Eucharisteo is in the seeing.
*Challenge* How do I look at everyday things? All the minutiae of everyday living?
Chapter Seven – seeing through the glass
*Challenge* Practicing eucharisteo when you don’t really “feel” like it.
You cannot positive think your way out of negative feelings.
The only way to fight a feeling is with a feeling.
Feel thanks and it is absolutely impossible to feel angry.
Tear the thigh to open the eye.
*Challenge* The next time you feel real anger at something or someone, stop in your tracks and purposely practice eucharisteo. Turn the feeling of anger into a feeling of gratefulness.
Chapter Eight – how will he not also?
God and I, we’ve long had trust issues.
*Challenge* Confess to God your trust issues.
*Reflection* Has prayer been replaced by worry in your life?
Fear keeps a life small.
*Challenge* Live big!
Stress isn’t only a joy stealer – the way we respond to it can be sin.
*Challenge* Respond well!
Thanks is what builds trust.
The hopes don’t have to add up – the blessings do!
Chapter Nine – go lower
I used to think that God’s gifts were on shelves one above the other, and that
the taller we grew in Christian character the easier we should reach them. I
find now that God’s gifts are on shelves one beneath the other, and that it is
not a question of growing taller but of stooping lower, and that we have to go
down, always down, to get His best gifts. F.B. Meyer
*Reflection* Humility is the greatest virtue!
*Question* Can we really expect joy all the time?
Only self can kill joy.
Chapter Ten – empty to fill
I am a flame to light other flames.
*Challenge* Being willing to share your flame.
*Reflection* The Yonge Street experience is a very powerful testimony of raw eucharisteo. How would we respond in a similar experience?
Eucharisteo means to give thanks and give is a verb, something that we do. God calls me to do thanks. To give the thanks away.
Chapter Eleven – the joy of intimacy
…the most fundamental thing is not how we think of God but rather what God thinks of
us: “How God thinks of us is not only more important, but infinitely more
important.” C.S. Lewis
*Challenge* Accepting and believing God loves us no matter what and then, because of that love, trust Him.
Just these two words He spoke changed my life,
What a burden I thought I was to carry – a crucifix, as did He.
Love once said to me, “I know a song, would you like to hear it?”
And, laughter came from every brick in the street and from every pore
in the sky,
After a night of prayer, He changed my life when He sang,
Teresa of Avila
*Challenge* LIVE FULLY!