One Thousand Gifts Study Guide: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

One Thousand Gifts Study Guide: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

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by Ann Voskamp
     
 

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Just like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. “How,” Ann wondered, “do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long—and sometimes even

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Overview

Just like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. “How,” Ann wondered, “do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long—and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?” In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God's gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we've always wanted … a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved — by God. Let Ann's beautiful, heart-aching stories of the everyday give you a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of being present to God that makes you deeply happy, and a way of living that is finally fully alive. Come live the best dare of all!

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780310690207
Publisher:
Zondervan
Publication date:
04/03/2013
Sold by:
Zondervan Publishing
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
165,858
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

One Thousand Gifts Study Guide


By Ann Morton Voskamp

ZONDERVAN

Copyright © 2012Ann Morton Voskamp
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-310-69020-7


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

attitude of gratitude


Introduction

Picture a timeline. It is filled with years, months, days, hours, and countless seconds. On a timeline every moment looks the same. If you could pluck off one minute it would look just like every other minute. A simple span of sixty seconds. It seems like nothing special. It appears to be nothing unique.

Yet, all of us have minutes in our lives that shape us. Something happens in that sixty-second blip on the timeline that is deeply and profoundly personal. It was not just another minute in the history of the world.

As you look back on the timeline of your life, many of the days and weeks blur together, but there are minutes that will stand out for the rest of your life. Seared in your memory are the sounds, feelings, images, and even the smells of those moments.

None of us live long on this earth without recording one of those unforgettable experiences. Not one of us can travel the rugged roads of earth and avoid all of the painful potholes. It does not matter where you live, how much money you have, how much you love God, how careful you might be, how much faith you exercise, or how persistently you pray. Hurt and heartache are truly unavoidable.

In a moment, without even seeing it coming, we all hit life's unexpected potholes and feel jarring pain. The question is not: Will you and I have these moments of loss and dizzying confusion? The real issue is: How will we respond to these inevitable and unavoidable moments? When we discover the secret to a heart of gratitude, we can face these certain moments with grace, strength, and even what seems impossible: joy.

"There's a reason I am not writing the story and God is. He knows how it all works out, where it all leads, what it all means ... I don't."


Talk About It

When you look back on the timeline of your story, tell about a moment you hit a pothole in your journey of life.


[Your Response]


Video Notes

As you watch the video for session one, use the following outline to record anything that stands out to you.

Wounded moments that close our hands


[Your Notes]

Grace


[Your Notes]

Eucharisteo: grace, thanksgiving, and joy


[Your Notes]

Thanksgiving precedes the miracle


[Your Notes]

Eyes on God, open hands in thanks


[Your Notes]

The list of one thousand gifts


[Your Notes]

At all times, thank God


[Your Notes]


"The gift list is thinking upon His goodness—and this, this pleases Him most!"


Video Discussion and Bible Study

1. Tell about a moment in your life that was hard and painful and looked nothing like a gift, until later you began to discover that a gift was wrapped up in the pain of that moment.


[Your Response]

2. What are some of the things that can cause us to close our hands and hearts to God?


[Your Response]

What specifically has helped you keep your hands and heart open, even through hard times?


[Your Response]


"Living with losses, I may choose to still say yes. Choose to say yes to what He freely gives. Could I live that—the choice to open the hands to freely receive whatever God gives? If I don't, I am still making a choice ... the choice not to."

3. Ann observes that there is a distinct difference between receiving the grace God offers at the cross of Jesus and being filled with grace to the point of overflowing ... every day. If a person has received the grace of Jesus and also walks in the fullness of that grace to the point of overflowing, what might this grace-extending life look like at one of these moments:

• When an opportunity to serve a person in need presents itself

• When someone betrays and hurts us deeply

• When we get unexpected hard news

• When a family member is unkind or insensitive

• When the future is uncertain and we feel anxious or fearful


[Your Response]


"Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our Yes! to His grace."

4. Read: Matthew 26:26–29 and 1 Corinthians 11:23–26. When Jesus broke the bread and offered the cup, He spoke this beautiful word: eucharisteo. This one word captures three distinct and powerful ideas. How did Jesus reveal each of the following in His institution of the Lord's Supper (the Eucharist)?

Grace


[Your Response]

Thanks


[Your Response]

Joy


[Your Response]

What can we do to deepen and expand our thankfulness, joy, and experience of grace?


[Your Response]

5. Read: John 11:38–44. Ann talks about thanksgiving raising the dead. What are some connections between thanksgiving and new life being unleashed in the dark and dead places of life?


[Your Response]

6. In the video, Ann says, "Jesus offers thanksgiving for even that which will break Him and crush Him and wound Him." How could Jesus express thanksgiving even as He faced the cross? How can Jesus' example shape your own response to times of pain and loss?


[Your Response]


"Thanksgiving—giving thanks in everything—prepares the way that God might show us His fullest salvation in Christ."

7. Read: 2 Chronicles 20:12–22. How was thankfulness connected to the victory God's people experienced in this passage? How does a thankful spirit lead to victory in our lives today?


[Your Response]

8. Why is it so hard to express eucharisteo thankfulness when we are going through a time of pain, struggle, and darkness? What can help us remain truly thankful in these seasons of life?


[Your Response]


"As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. Whenever, meaning—now; wherever, meaning—here."

9. Take a minute to list five gifts you already have—anything that reveals God's grace, makes you thankful, and unleashes joy in your life—and then share one item from your list with the rest of the group.

[Your Response]

[Your Response]

[Your Response]

[Your Response]

[Your Response]


How does a life filled with eucharisteo profit us as well as bring delight to the heart of God?


[Your Response]


"We only enter the full life if our faith gives thanks." "Prayer without ceasing is only possible in a life of continual thanks."


Closing Prayer

Take time as a group to pray in any of the following directions:

• Thank God for the good gifts He has given you.

• Invite God to teach you how to experience eucharisteo in the hard times of life.

• Confess where you have forgotten to be thankful for God's unmerited gifts.

• Ask Jesus to so fill you with His joy and grace that others see it and are drawn near to Him.&
(Continues...)


Excerpted from One Thousand Gifts Study Guide by Ann Morton Voskamp. Copyright © 2012 by Ann Morton Voskamp. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Ann Voskamp is wife of one good farmer, the home-educating mama to a half-dozen exuberant kids, and author of New York Times bestsellers, The Greatest Gift and One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.

Named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women most shaping culture and the church today, and a partner with Compassion International as a global advocate for needy children, Ann's a regular loser of library books, usually has a sink full of soaking pots, sees empty laundry baskets rarer than a blue moon, and believes that the sky and fresh mercy over the farm is large and all is grace.  Her blog, one of the Top 10 Christian blogs on the web, has become a daily well for the weary and soul-thirsty:  http://www.aholyexperience.com 

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