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THE SHACK: CLASS 3

COMMON TOPIC FOR DISCUSSION: (Gl. 5:19-26) Mack finished one task in the garden of his soul. (130) What soul task or tasks are you currently working on? If you do not have a task to work on does that mean you are not following the leading of the Holy Spirit or that there is nothing left in the core of your being to work on from your perspective or God’s? (128) How do you know what needs to be removed from your soul roots and all? How do you know what needs to be planted in your soul where things have been removed? Is the garden of your soul more your responsibility and work or the responsibility and work of the Holy Spirit? (133)


GROUP 1

CHAPTER 7, GOD ON THE DOCK. (104-114)

How was the reaction of Mack and Jesus to their respective cooking mishaps different? How do their reactions compare to your reactions to mishaps? What seems most significant to Mack about the reaction of Papa and Sarayu to Jesus’ mishap compared to the way he treated his love ones and what does it take to be more loving and less critical/judgmental of love ones and your self? (104-105)

Explain why God offered Mack no counsel or wisdom after he shared his family concerns? Did God have any help to give? (106)

What are your memories of family devotions and is it a discipline from your experience you would encourage others to practice? (107)

*How do you get miracles if prayer is just allowing God to see things through your eyes and getting love and calm in your heart? (107)

God is holy (Lv. 11:45) but how can holiness be something other than a cold and sterile concept? (107-108, 110)

In what settings do you best experience the presence-of-God-thing? Do you intentionally give time to experience those settings? (108)

What matters most in really knowing Jesus and for him to know you? Do you want to associate with less than an ideal man? (111)

Does it take asking God risky questions to develop a meaningful spiritual relationship? Does the church encourage such risk taking? Do you avoid risky conversations with God because you might not like what God tells you such as you don’t really know Him? (112)

*Is God more interested in you having all the right answers or like Paul (Php. 3:8-12) in being with you during your life time to help you sort things out? If you had all the right answers, would you be more or less concerned that you are in co-union with God? (113)

What is everything all about? Why would Mack, with his seminary background, say, “That is almost unbelievable!”. (113)

*How would you describe the lost feeling that Mack has in dealing with his pain and grief ? Would you describe it more as feeling lost in relationship with God or in feeling lost in not finding meaning in his pain and grief? How do you best pray when feeling lost? (114)

GROUP 2

CHAPTER 8, A BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS. (115-127)

Do you have flying dreams? Do they normally have good or bad ending? Why would Mack’s flying dream be a nightmare? (115-116)

Why didn’t God just take Mack’s nightmares away? (117) Are some of your dreams more important than others and why? (118)

*Is the anger of God different than your anger? Do some preconceived notions about God get in the way of accepting what is? (119)

If sin is its own punishment why do some people enjoy living a sinful life, only regretting consequences, and not wanting a cure? (120)

What is God’s expectation that you offer him grace before eating? What does our prayer posture say about God being present? (120)

Does one part of the Trinity seem to be the boss and if not do the three members of the Godhead take turns running the show? (121)

Does the church reflect a circle of relationships or a chain of command? Is there still a need for a formal or informal hierarchy? (122)

Is humankind (creation) on the wrong path or right path and if so how? (123)

*What keeps you in and what do you allow to keep you out of dwelling in the circle of love in the Godhead? (124)

What role or effect if any do human choices play when it comes to God’s purposes? (125)

What is the underlying flaw in the life of Mackenzie? Do we all participate in the same flaw at times when God does not meet our expectations? Do you have to first believe God is good to trust God and what are you trusting God for? (126)

*Like Mack, is it impossible for you to imagine how evil situations can be justified? In processing evil situations is it more important to justify or redeem them? Is the redemption of a situation that can not be justified only possible with God? (Ro. 18:28) (127)

GROUP 3

CHAPTER 9, A LONG TIME AGO, IN A GARDEN FAR, FAR AWAY. (128-138)

Given our desire for control and certainty, how might the blatant disregard for certainty in the working of the Holy Spirit in the garden of the soul create a problem in your understanding of and relationship with God for Mack and for you? (128)

*Would you describe the garden of your soul more as “a perfect pattern emerging and growing and alive -a living fractal” or a mess? From whose perspective is it a fractal and from whose perspective is it a mess? (129, 138)

God created everything good including poisonous plants, nettles and mosquitoes so why do we, like Mack, consider them bad? (131)

Can some things you consider beautiful and good in the core of your being really be bad and need to be dug up and burned? (131, 133)

Is the Genesis account of the eating the deadly fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil more about what happened way back when or is it more about the consequences of the choices you make which can separate you from God? (Ro. 5:12-14) (133-136)

*How does your understanding of good and evil effect how you spend your time and energy? (135)

Can you be “born again” and still play God in some areas of life and not in others so that you do not see God in all of life? (136)

Does evil and darkness actually exist or are they what Sarayu calls the absence of “Light and Good” that actually does exist? (136)

If evil does not exist does the Devil or Satan or the serpent in the Genesis account that personifies evil actually exist? (136)

Rights are a big part of American culture, so what does it mean for you to give up your rights like Jesus to know the wonder and adventure of living with God? Do you think those with fewer rights find it easier to work out their relationship with God? (137)

Can you do self help soul work that results in you growing and being alive without the direction and help of the Holy Spirit? (138)

*Is it necessary to have “purpose in your heart” to do soul work with the Holy Spirit and if so where does that purpose originate? (138)


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