7-Week Program*

2018

7-Week Book Study Program

"Is Your God Big Enough? Close Enough? You Enough?"

by Rev. Paul R. Smith  

Paul R. Smith is an author, mystic, pastor, and teacher.  He is also author of "Is It Okay to Call God Mother?" and "Integral Christianity:  The Spirit's Call to Evolve."

This book is a spiritual jewel and an evolutionary driver for contemporary Christian Spirituality, as well as spirituality in general.

This book has the potential to lead all of us into a much richer relationship and understanding of the being we call God.

Web page:  http://www.revpaulsmith.com



View the introductory talk from Sunday, September 30th here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAEWBaXKipQ&t=13s

View the 2nd talk given by Patricia Haller, LUT here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiV5TV2_gg4&t=3s

Week 1 : Introduction to The Three Faces of God. pgs. xix—28            

                 View talk October 7th   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCIVOiIJwuY&t=351s                                                                       

Weekly Affirmation — “I talk about the Infinite face of God; I talk to the Intimate face of God; and I talk as the inner face of God.”

1.    Discuss the ideas outlined in the Foreword pgs. xix-xxi

2.    Discuss the story and its implications outlined on pages 1 & 2

3.    What, if anything, does the Trinity mean to you? How useful is it?

4.   ‘Jesus talked about God, to God, and as God. So can you!’ Agree or disagree? Discuss.

5.   Be the God you want to see in the world! Discuss 

6.   ‘If your God is not close enough, then that God will not be profoundly transformational in your life.’  Comment. 

7.    Look at the questions on page 26 and pick one that interests you.

8.    Reflecting about God, Relating to God, Resting as God. Which ones are familiar to you?

 

What was the most important quote or insight you had from the material this week? 

End the group meeting by reading the 12 Steps of the Consciousness of Mastery Process

Close the meeting with the Three Faces of God benediction and hand motions on page 28.


Suggested Practice for Week One:  October 7-13 

Each day
 1. Do the 3 faces of God exercise on page 28 each day
 2.  Take one of the three practices listed on page 27 and use it during the day. 
      Do a different practice each day. Notice which one you like or dislike.         
 3. Repeat the weekly affirmation each day.

  Extra Activity: Check out www.Integrallife.com 
  Note the references at the bottom of the pages and look up some that interest you.


 

Week Two: Is Your God Big Enough? pgs. 29-46
Weekly affirmation — “I Am in touch with the Infinite.”

1. Discuss the decisive question on p. 29 : is he related to something infinite or not?

2. Read the quote from Hermes on page 31 and discuss.

3. Is your God as big as the God of Jesus? If not, in what ways is it not?

4. ‘I Am that I Am’ defines God as Being Itselfrather than as a Being. (p.34) Discuss

5. God is beyond all concepts. Is there a sense in which we are already beyond ourselves?

6. Is your image of God one, two or three dimensional?

7. Take a look at the comments & questions on pgs. 43-44-45. Discuss one of them.

      

What was the most important quote or insight you had from the material this week?

End the group with the 12 Steps of the Consciousness of Mastery Process

Close the meeting with the Three Faces of God benediction and hand motions on page 28.

Suggested Practice for Week Two: October 14-20

Each Day:

1.  Do the 3 faces of God exercise on page 46 each day

2.  Repeat the weekly affirmation each day.

3. Contemplate the following in relationship to your image or idea of God:

 the heart cannot embrace what the mind rejects.

4. Pick a different practice to do each day from the list on p.45

Optional extra: 

Note the references at the bottom of the pages and look up some that interest you.

 


Week Three:  Beyond Son to Cosmic Christ pgs.  47—68                       

Weekly Affirmation — “The Christ is a field of love and I am part of it.”
 

1.   Discuss the definition of “Christ” that is outlined on page 47.

2.   Discuss the various nuances of “Christ” that are presented in pgs. 47-51

3. Have someone read aloud the description of the Cosmic Christ from Col. 1:15-19

Sit for a moment in the silence contemplating it and then discuss your reaction (p.51)

4. Discuss the web of life and love as outlined on p. 56-57 

5. Discuss the 8 Observations about the Cosmic Christ pgs. 60-66 especially #5.

6. Take a look at the comments & questions on pgs. 67.  Discuss one of them.

 

What was the most important quote or insight you had from the material this week?

End the group with the 12 Steps of the Consciousness of Mastery Process

Close the meeting with the Three Faces of God benediction and hand motions on page 28.

 

 Suggested Practice for Week Three:  October 21-27
Each Day:
 1. Do the 3 faces of God exercise on page 68 each day
 2. Meditate on Col. 1:15-19 (p.51) and on Eph. 3:17-19 (p.67) 
 3.  Repeat the weekly affirmation each day.

Optional extra: 

Note the references at the bottom of the pages and look up some that interest you.


Week 4: Beyond Spirit to Infinite Consciousness  pgs. 69-94

Weekly Affirmation — “God being me, I am the Light of the World”

1. If someone asked you what Spirit is, what would you say?

2. Discuss the various nuances of Spirit that are outlined on pgs. 71-80

3. Have you ever had an experience of elevated consciousness or spirit? Share

4. Discuss the translation of John 1:1-14 found on page 82

5. Discuss the various statements by various mystics on pgs. 82-84

6. Based on the input in this chapter does God know that we exist?

7. Discuss the 15 sentences on page 87



What was the most important quote or insight you had from the material this week?

End the group meeting by reading the 12 Steps of the Consciousness of Mastery Process

Close the meeting with the Three Faces of God benediction and hand motions on page 28.

Suggested Practice for Week Four: October 28– November 3

Each Day

1. Do the breath practice on page 93

2. Practice the 3 Faces of God benediction.

3. Repeat the weekly affirmation each day.

Optional extra: 

Note the references at the bottom of the pages and look up some that interest you.

 


Week Five: God Beside Us as Father-Mother  pgs. 95-116
God, Jesus and Gender  pgs. 165-174

Weekly Affirmation — “The loving arms of God hold me.”

1.  How does the idea of falling in love with God strike you?

2.   Did you have a close devotional relationship with God earlier in life? Share.

3.   Would you describe your relationship with God as filled with love, gratitude/devotion? 

4.   A good spiritual teacher tells you where to look, but not what to see. Discuss.

5.   Has the male image of God/Jesus been a barrier for you? Share your experience.

6.   Discuss some of the questions  on pgs. 114-115 

7.   Discuss some of the questions on p. 173

 

What was the most important insight or quote from the material this week?

End the group meeting by reading the 12 Steps of the Consciousness of Master

Close the meeting with the Three Faces of God benediction and hand motions on page 28.

 

Suggested Practice for Week Five:  November 4-10

Each day

 1. Do the 3 faces of God exercise on page 174 
 2.  Look at the practices on pgs. 115 and  173. Notice which ones you like or dislike.
      Pick one or more of these practices and see what comes up for you.
 3. Repeat the weekly affirmation each day.

Optional extra: 

Note the references at the bottom of the pages and look up some that interest you.

 


Week Six:  Why I Still Talk to Jesus   pgs. 117—148

Weekly Affirmation — “What would I feel like if Jesus was really here.”

Recording of Friendship with Jesus Meditation by Rev. Jerry

1. Discuss the idea of a personal friendship with Jesus Christ. What comes up for you?

2. Discuss the Marcus Borg quote on page 121. 

3. What are the challenges you feel keep you from devotion to Jesus? (pgs. 121-125)

4. Do you consider in your life that you act on behalf of  God?

5. Jesus was and is all that God is, without being all there is of God. Discuss. 
What implications does that have for me… change the word Jesus with the word I.

6. We become like that which we admire. .. We become like that which we adore.

7. The goal in Christianity is not to be a Christian but to be a Christ as seen in Jesus. Discuss

 

What was the most important quote or insight you had from the material this week?

End the group meeting by reading the 12 Steps of the Consciousness of Mastery Process

Close the meeting with the Three Faces of God benediction and hand motions on page 28.

Suggested Practice for Week Six:  November  11– 17
Each Day:
1. View the video listed on the bottom of page 141. 
2. Sit and have an open heart to experiencing the presence of Jesus Christ. (pgs. 136-141) 
     This is  one of the key insights and practices of the whole book. A text of the Sitting With Jesus meditation is  available on page 146/7/8 .  A recording of the meditation by Rev. Jerry is  available for your use.
3. Repeat the weekly affirmation each day.

Optional extra: 
Note the references at the bottom of the pages and look up some that interest you.


Week Seven: The closeness of God as Spirit  pgs.  175— 212

Weekly Affirmation —“I am the Divine child of my Divine Mother-Father God.”

1.  What is your sense, if any, of ‘the spirit in you’? Does ‘intuition’ fit the bill?

2.  Discuss the image on page 181. Is it helpful or not?

3.  Are you the ‘spitting image’ of God? What ways is that true for you? 

4.  Do you have a sense of being another Christ as outlined in the first paragraph on p185

5.  Discuss Jesus’ declaration that ‘ye are Gods’ John 10:35-36 on pages 186-7

6.  “Nondual means not two in the sense of being separate. But nondual also means not one                                                                                                                                         either in the sense of being the same.” Discuss this KEY INSIGHT

7.  Are we in the process of becoming or are we already Divine/God/Christ? 

8.   Pick one question from the list on pgs. 210-211 to discuss

 

What was the most important quote or insight you had from the material this week?

End the group with the 12 Steps of Consciousness of Mastery Process

Close the meeting with the Three Faces of God benediction and hand motions on page 28.


Suggested Practice for Week Seven:  November 18 —24.

Each Day:

1. Do the resting as God exercise on p. 211 KEY PRACTICE
2. Use the Three Faces of God Devotion on p. 212
3. Repeat the weekly affirmation each day.

Optional extra: 
Note the references at the bottom of the pages and look up some that interest you.