- The authors use words like – brave, rebel, perfect, battles, permission and reinforcements. Do any of these words resonate with you regarding your life?
- Of the 4 ‘P’s, do you think of yourself as suffering from one in particular?
- Why is standing up for your own needs presented as Brave? Who are your bullies?
- Which of the 12 ways did you think of applying to your life? Have you tried it?
- The Rebel type discovery quiz was an eye opener. Did you discover something new about yourself?
- “Mistakes are good, struggle makes you smarter” – a phrase by Daniel Coyle, is chosen to challenge our thinking of what is normal. What did you think about this?
- The four personalities listed after the quiz, present some definite responses to all the battles we encounter. What personality did you find yourself inhabiting, and where did it lead you in your Braver Living process?
- Were you challenged by the fun quiz?
- “I can’t throw it away; I might need it someday” talks about our 21st century dilemma. Were you confronted by the words hoarder, clutter, excess supplies and stuff!? Do I hear you rush to justify those sentimental stacks?
- The format of this book includes quizzes, suggestions, plans and instructions to combat our weaknesses. Was it helpful to see yourself exposed and vulnerable, in order to see that change could happen? Would you recommend this book to any friends or family?
12 Ways to stop trying harder and start living braver
Do you know a woman who works her heart out but never gets anything “just right”? Who feels like she falls short of being the Christian wife, mother, daughter, and friend she longs to be? Sound like anyone you know? Perhaps even the girl in the mirror? If so, Cheri Gregory and Kathi Lipp have good news for you. You’re not a bad person. You’ve simply been obeying some really bad rules for far too long, rules that promised paradise but misled you into perfectionism, people-pleasing, and procrastination prison. But you don’t have to stay stuck in discouragement and resentment. Escape is possible. Rescue is waiting. This sassy self-help guide offers been-there-felt-that, girlfriend-to-girlfriend empathy and experience that will help you tell the difference between reasonable rules and bad rules; identify the bad rules you need to break; and discover biblical wisdom to overcome the bad rules in your life. As you stop trying to measure up so that others will be impressed, you’ll experience what it means to “let the peace of Christ rule in your heart.” Google books
- Which characters do you relate to in this novel? Why?
- To whom was Lorry referring to when he sent the message “Recalled to Life” from the coach?
- Are there passages in book one that present the times in a graphic way? Can you share one?
- How is the inter-relationship of Darnay, Dr Manette and Lucie developed, and what techniques does Dickens employ to add to the suspense of the story?
- What made the most impression on you as you read about Roger Cly’s funeral?
- When Jerry Cruncher went fishing at night where did he fish?
- What changed Jerry’s opinion of his wife’s ‘flopping’ after spending 15 months in Paris during the Revolution?
- A “loadstone” is a piece of magnetite that attracts iron or steel, and is used in marine navigation, or something that attracts strongly. What was Darnay’s Loadstone Rock and where did it take him?
- Lucie Manette was an unchanging character, always calm and kind. Do you think she was the good to Madame Defarge’s evil in the story?
- How do you see the last days of Sydney Carton when he was repeating the verses about the Resurrection and the Life?
A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, deals with the major themes of duality, revolution, and resurrection. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times in London and Paris, as economic and political unrest lead to the American and French Revolutions. The main characters in Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities — Doctor Alexandre Manette, Charles Darnay, and Sydney Carton — are all recalled to life, or resurrected, in different ways as turmoil erupts. See www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/t/a-tale-of-two-cities/a-tale-of-two-cities-at-a-glance
- What do you think is the reason Michelle DeRusha wrote this book and what criteria do you think she has used for choosing the women, and the details of their lives, she has included?
- Which story is your favourite and why?
- Is there someone included that you knew nothing about but found her life story challenging?
- What surprised you about the women of the 17th and 18th century who spoke up despite prejudice?
- Did any of these short summaries inspire you to read more about a particular woman?
- Are there any women you think should not have been included?
- How many ways did God meet these women? – give a few examples.
- Many of the women suffered for their obedience to God’s call. Can you give an example and how it challenged you in your ministry?
- Is there a phrase that stands out or comes to mind when considering the work of these women?
- Having read about these women, are you inspired to spend more time with God, and to seek his direction for your life?
The inspiring stories of the women who helped to shape our faith
Throughout history, countless women have boldly stepped out in faith and courage, leaving their indelible mark on those around them and on the kingdom of God. In lively prose Michelle DeRusha tells their stories, bringing into focus fifty incredible heroines of the faith. From Catherine of Siena, Teresa of vila, and Anne Hutchinson to Susanna Wesley, Harriet Tubman, and Corrie ten Boom, these admirable women live again under DeRusha’s expert pen. These engaging narratives are a potent reminder to us that we are not alone, the battles we face today are not new, and God is always with us in the midst of the struggle.
BOOKCLUB QUESTIONS –
- What was the reason Catherine and Reg spent so much time in Ethiopia?
- How did you relate to the early stories of Catherine’s marriage to Reg and the training and life of doctors at Crown St Hospital?
- When Catherine tells the stories of the fistula pilgrims, what impression do you get of life for women and girls in Ethiopia?
- As light is shed on the missionary history of both families of this devoted couple, are there equivalent stories in your own background?
- In chapter 8, Catherine tells of their first success. Why was the surgery so difficult do you think? Would we be as determined to succeed in a similar circumstance?
- What did you enjoy about Catherine’s description of life in Ethiopia?
- How did God provide for them and the hospital during the time of war and famine?
- When Richard was suffering a crisis in London while studying Medicine, did it bring to mind a crisis within your own family that you could share, where God brought about a transformation?
- The deprivations in the prison were described when the princesses were held after the coup. How would we cope in those sort of circumstances do you think?
- The surgical skill of the women who had come through the trauma of losing children and being terribly injured was astounding. Mamitu was one who assumed incredible leadership and devotion to Reg and the patients. What touched you most about her story?
Gynaecologists Catherine and Reg Hamlin left Australia in 1959 on a short contract to establish a midwifery school in Ethiopia. Almost 50 years later, Catherine is still there, running one of the most outstanding medical programs in the world. The Hamlins dedicated their lives to women suffering the catastrophic effects of obstructed labour. The awful injuries that such labour produces are called fistulae, and until the Hamlins began their work in Ethiopia, fistula sufferers were neglected and forgotten – a vast group of women facing a lifetime of incapacity and degradation. The Hamlins have successfully operated on almost 30,000 women, and the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, which they opened in 1975, has become a major teaching institution for surgeons. Since Reg’s death, Catherine has continued their work. As well as being made a companion of the Order of Australia, being awarded the ANZAC Peace Prize and the coveted Gold Medal from the Royal College of Surgeons, Catherine was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. The Hospital by the River is Catherine’s story.
- What did you discover about autism that you did not know before?
- What poem of Elizabeth touches you the most?
- Have you been affected by an autistic person? Have you learnt from them? In what way?
- Have you tried to put a description of yourself into poetry? Does the poem “Me” resonate with you?
- What is the RPM (Rapid Prompting Method) used by Soma to teach Elizabeth to use the letterboard?
- The process of getting Elizabeth and her brother Charles into mainstream education was very involved. What did you think of this process?
- Qualities needed to manage the chaos of autism were shared with the reader. Which of these challenged you in dealing with your own difficulties?
- What did you think of the various treatments discussed eg. hookworms, working retreats?
- Virginia went through a list of rules for parents. Have you used any of these to help you in your parenting (or Grandparenting)?
- What did you think of Virginia’s understanding of God’s place in the world compared with her daughter?
If we have time I would like to find out if any of us have a poem (our own or a favourite) we would like to share with the group.
‘She looked into my eyes and blinked hers slowly and deliberately, like a stroke victim, to show me that although she couldn’t speak, she understood what I was saying to her. I stroked her hair softly. ‘I know you’re in there, honey, ‘ I told her. ‘We’ll get you out.'”
Despite the horror of seeing fifteen-month-old Elizabeth slip away into autism, her mother knew that her bright little girl was still in there. When Elizabeth eventually learned to communicate, first by using a letterboard and later by typing, the poetry she wrote became proof of a glorious, life-affirming victory for this young girl and her family. ‘