John Shore Christian Blog and Commentary

I'm Now The Kind of Person I Usually Have Issues With

I'm about to become a teacher. Talk about karma.

Anyway, here are Le' Facts de' Grunt on this class I'll be teaching:

What: Lenten study series

When: Every Wednesday night, from Feb. 13 through March 12, from 7-8 p.m. (Service at 6; dinner at 6:30; class at 7.)

Where: St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Del Mar, CA. (From some pretty funny "How rich are they in Del Mar?" jokes, see, "My Lenten Story Remains Untold. Thanks, Starbucks.") St. Peter's is at 14th Street and Coat Highway 101 in Del Mar. (It's actually a block up 14th off the 101.)

Why: Because "Father Frank," St. Peter's interim rector, called and asked me to. I'm just that easy.

How: Me, in front of people, talking. (And totally open to anyone eager to prove themselves teacher's pet. In that respect I'm also shamelessly easy.)

What, redux: Below is the official Class Description for the series. If you are anywhere near Del Mar, and would like to come hear me yap teach, please do. Everyone, and especially me, will be thrilled you did. Thanks.

Anyway, here's my official Class Description:

Because Lent and Easter are grounded in the dynamic of Christ leaving one life behind and manifesting into a new one, Lent has always been a time for Christians to review their past and recommit themselves to God. So I'd like to use our Lenten study series as a means by which each of us can explore not only who we have been up to this point in our lives, but how having been that person has (whether we've known it or not) perfectly prepared us to now become the person we'd most like to be.

The idea is that throughout our lives God has been using our lives to turn us into someone prepared to enter into a full relationship with him. That's what God wants; that's what we want; that's what every moment of every day of our lives we and God have been working on.

I'd like this class to help us see and understand exactly how and why that's true.

In order to provide a means by which anyone might fruitfully and systematically analyze their own past (and thereby appreciate the potential of their future), we will spend our time together looking at the five primary roles that most of us have spent at least the first half of our lives "playing" and fulfilling. Those five roles are Super Overall Person, Child, Spouse/Mate, Parent, and Provider.

First, under "Good Riddance," we'll look at the aspects of the role we're then considering that often prove less than entirely healthy for us -- that, as we move on to the second half of our lives, we would do well to identify, and then jettison.

Next, under "Pure Gold," we'll take stock of those aspects of that life's role that in their fulfilling typically have proven good and healthy for us: that tended to ennoble us, strengthen us, make us better, wiser, more pleasing to God. This is the stuff about that role which we should hold onto and build upon as we move into the second half of our lives.

Under "Movin' On," we'll consider how we might use the best of what that role taught us--the "Pure Gold" we just identified -- to fashion for ourselves the kind of spiritual and emotional life that we (and God) have long intended us to have.

Finally, under "Things To Do," we'll offer suggestions and exercises designed to enhance our experience and appreciation of what that role has and can now mean to us.

In the final of our five classes we will look back, and see how the primary lesson we learned by fulfilling each of our life's roles not only can but are meant to combine within us to give us virtually everything we need to finally become the person we've always wanted to be.

A real person of God must be in full possession of five very distinct qualities, qualities so precious, and so hard to come by, that they can only be acquired through long, hard experience. Everyone who's ever been or tried to be a Super Person, Child, Mate, Parent, and Provider does posses those five qualities. This class is intended to not just show but to prove why and how that's true for each and every one of us.

This class is based on Midlife Manual for Men: Finding Significance in the Second Half, a book I co-authored with best-selling author Stephen Arterburn. It is just out from Bethany House Publishers; it is their lead title for the season.

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