Chapter 1 Exercises

God Revealed . . . in Faith-Stirring Experiences

Chapter 1 revealed experiences in which I very tangibly felt God’s presence and influence. These were faith-stirring experiences that will be etched in my memory forever, serving as a constant reminder of when and how my faith was originally established and later fortified.

In God’s Presence

Not everyone experiences the kind of glorious connection to God that I did at age twelve, as described in the story “My Mystical Adolescent Experience.” But can you recall an experience in your own youth when you first felt close to God and began to believe in His existence?

– Briefly describe that experience and how you felt at the time.
– Are you more or less certain now than you were then that the experience was providential? Why?
– With whom, and how, can you comfortably share that experience in a way that will make a positive impact?

Pillars of Faith

When I think back on people in my life who represented pillars of faith—people I greatly admired, people who significantly influenced my own faith—I think first of my wife’s grandmother, Grace Smolar.

– Is there someone in your life whom you recognize as a pillar of faith?
– Who was that person and in what ways were you able to observe his or her faithfulness?
– Describe how your memories of that person continue to impact you.
– When do you find yourself thinking of him or her?
– What are the ways in which you might become that pillar of faith to others in the future?

Divine Marvels

In the story “Epiphany in India,” I palpably felt God’s influence and presence as I observed His incredible human creation. Some people have told me they see God’s handiwork in the vastness and harmony of the cosmos, while others say they marvel at the complexity and intricacy of microscopic particles and life forms.

– What are some of the most faith-stirring experiences you’ve had as you live daily and observe God’s creation?
– As you discuss answers to this question with others, consider whether or not you have overlooked or taken for granted the wonders of your daily surroundings. What have you missed?
– In your daily life, are you using all of your senses to experience the wonder of God’s creation?
– Are there ways that you can find to share your renewed wonder at God’s creation with others?

Next Chapter 2: Through Our Friendships

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