Online Bible Study Information

Current book: The Attentive Life by Leighton Ford
Purchase online: CLICK HERE

This Week’s Video:

Points to consider:

  • How can you organize your time or your life to live according to the rhythm of an Attentive Life?
  • The hours expressed here are not to be considered and expressed every single day as a hiatus from your normal routine and schedule. They are to be a way of listening for God as you reflect on your day and your life.
  • What phase of your life are you according to the Benedictine hours? Does what you do everyday feel out of sync with that phase? What is one thing you can do to add a moment of holiness to your regular life?
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Kim.english@att.net

Hi, I’m afraid I’ve gotten so behind in the reading and it’s because I’m allowing myself to do exactly what Mr. Ford is writing about. Ive only read through Chapter 5 so far because I just can’t sit down and focus on on reading…….seems like I jump from one thing to another to try to keep my mind from focusing on all of the negativity that seems like is drowning me lately. These past few weeks have literally…..physically, emotionally, and admittedly angrily….drained me. My attention has been focused on worry about the election and the future, worry about my twin brother Keith who’s been going through tests for his neurological issues, worry about whether the simple task of going to the grocery store will put me in the hospital, worry about finances, worry about the hatred from both sides of every issue we’re facing in America. In Chapter 4, the phrase “continuous partial attention” jumped out at me, and he asked if we are worn down by it. Then you reminded us of Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.” Thank you! That reminded me to do just that, and just as my best friend has told me over and over about the election, Covid, and all this “mess” we’re in: “Give it to God! He’s got this!” I need to try harder to get my attention off the negative and focus on the positive.
One thing that stood out in Chapter 5 was his comparing the lights on the rich man’s carriage to the stars that lit the poor man’s way; and comparing the manmade fireworks, that are only temporary, to the stars which always come back out at night. That reminds me that all of this “mess” is also temporary…..things will get back to normal one day, God will take care of us no matter what happens in politics. I’m trying hard to remember that because I’m really afraid for my country right now, but I know I have to get my attention back on the good things. And last night, I had an answer to prayer! Keith’s medical problems have been with his balance, pains and severe fatigue and soreness in walking, even sitting etc. His doctors have determined pretty much for certain that it is Parkinson’s, but we are counting that as a blessing because we’ve been so afraid that it could have been something so much worse. Maybe I can get back to focusing on the good things and paying attention to God’s stars and not the headlights. I do have a lot to be thankful for.

Patricia Bassett

Presently my morning preoccupation is getting up and dressed so that I can get Rina to school on time. I come home, feed the two dogs, and while I am eating my breakfast do my morning devotionals. I have six different books along with my Bible that I read from each morning. One is Readers’ Digest. I am sending you a story in this month’s digest that should show the face or the idol of God. It is listed as one of the nicest places in America.
Like you, I have been a church goer since I was nine or before. Before then we lived here and there and church was not part of my life. At ten I walked up to the altar and joined the church in Franklin, GA. I spent my church life there until I went to college in LaGrange. One Sunday two of my roommates and I visit a church there in LaGrange. I usually went to the Methodist Church in town, but my roommate wanted to visit another church. This was a smaller church in LaGrange. At the end the preacher had an altar call. I had no intentions of going forward, but something lifted me out of that seat and I went down the aisle to the altar. I did not go back to the church, but I had no control that morning about walking to the altar.

Josh Gale

Patricia, I finally took a few moments to print out and read that article you sent. I love the story of the gentleman turning his tattoo parlor into a covid-supply store!

You have a right to stay busy with Rina and the rest πŸ™‚ You keep a lot of pots burning (impressively!)

I’m curious what are some words about your early Christian faith that have hung with you over the years. I bet it would make for some good morning reflections for you

Kim English

Hi! Finally getting caught up! One statement that really jumped out at me so far was that “Paying attention is not a way by which we make something happen but a way to see what is already given us.” I know this may sound kinda silly but it reminded me of an episode of Andy Griffith…..(I’ve always found a lesson in those old classics of Mayberry)….in which the visiting preacher told the congregation to slow down and relax. The townsfolk spent the entire remainder of that Sunday afternoon trying to recreate the old Under the Stars concerts that they had put on in the past. They wore themselves out, hurried along, got impatient and angry with each other…. and finally gave up on…. trying to rebuild the bandstand, clean and repair the molded, tattered band uniforms, and reunite the band, including Grandpa who couldn’t hear a word anyone was saying…including when to join in with the clank of the cymbals!
They tried so hard to recreate the past instead of appreciating and paying attention to what they had in the present…..good friends who were willing to give it a try, old friends like Grandpa who was still alive and part of the church community, and the memories of the past concerts….all things that God had already given them.
Also, the poem of The Kingfisher, where she reminds me that God has already been there, even if we don’t see Him while we’re waiting for Him, He’s there and will be there again.
You had asked about early images of God. I think my earliest images in both sight and sound was of my grandmother humming and singing hymns in the little corner grocery store that she and Granddaddy had on the corner of College and Plant Street. As she was waiting on the neighborhood customers, helping Granddaddy so he could take some breaks, while also cooking and cleaning the house, she was ALWAYS humming I Love to Tell the Story and other songs. Certainly, I’m not comparing her image to God Himself, but memories and images of a godly woman who set the example of what I aspired to be from an early age.

Josh Gale

Kim, Thank you for taking the time to write out this reply!

I love your story about Andy Griffith. I used to watch it during the days as a kid πŸ™‚ And yes, there’s a lot of wisdom about how our focus on what has happened can impede upon and distract us from what new things God is doing right now.

What a lovely image of God. The real question is how can you now reflect those memories of your grandmother out toward others who might be looking at you in the same way you looked to her? Those images we carry are central to our understanding of God.

Patricia Bassett

I know that you are suggesting that we listen to the discussion first and then read, but I am finding that I like it better the other way around. I have walked a labyrinth in Brazil. It was in the bottom floor of a New Age Church. Andrey’s parents wanted us to see the church. It was relatively new and certainly new to them. There was a museum feel about it. The labyrinth was on the floor and people were walking. None of us had any idea why, so we walked it. It did not make an impression on me other than I remember doing it. Billy and I walked the spiral staircase in Salt Lake. It was very impressive since the walls were painted with clouds and at the top as you made your way around the last turn was a life size statue of Christ.

I enjoyed Ford’s discussion about Psalm 139. I liked the points that he brought out from the scripture. It felt very personal. I don’t wake up many times at 3 or 4 am, but when I do and do not immediately go back to sleep, I like to thank God for all the blessings (by name)he has given me.

Josh Gale

When I wake up at 3 or 4 am, I’m only thinking about how I can get back to sleep!

Patricia Bassett

I read the chapter yesterday and listened to the video today. As I read I felt that he was writing the complete book in chapter one. There were many interesting ideas presented though. This morning I realized that I was being more attentive to what I saw as I stood at the door and watched the activity of nature going on outside. The story of the woman who asked her husband why the son could understand him when he spoke and yet she could not, got my attention. The son listened from the heart. I realized that there are many times when I am looking at someone while they talk to me, but I am not listening. My mind is somewhere else. This weekend Rina, Douglas and I went to pick up some clocks that I had taken for repair. We were there for 30 or more minutes. As we were in the car to leave, Douglas commented, “He did not look at me one time”. This made an impression on me, but left Douglas with hurt feelings. He was paying attention.