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To Be Told -- Know Your Story, Shape Your Future
by Dan B. Allender, Ph.D. © 2005.
(Waterbrook Press: Colorado Springs, CO) [227 pages]
[Answer 11 of 15 questions correctly to receive 11 hours of Continuing Education credit].

 

Chapter One: The Tale to Be Told -- Reading Your Life As God Has Written It (p. 9-23)
1. Which is NOT true about your story
a. You are the most important character in your story.
b. Your story reveals something about God.
c. To understand your story, you need to know your tragedies.
d. To write a new plot means to reengage the tragedies in your life with
    new patterns.

Chapter Two: What’s You Real Name? -- Others Name Us, But Only God Knows Our Name (p. 25-35)
2. The author believes that most of our known family stories
a. are routine and boring.
b. hide other stories full of heartache and shame.
c. paint an overly harsh picture of our parents.
d. are sufficient in helping us discover our true name.

Chapter Three: What Makes a Good Story -- A Better Way to Read Your Tragedies (p. 37-54)
3. Good stories tell about the intersection between
a. good an evil.
b. joy and sadness.
c. the strong and the weak.
d. desire and tragedy.

4. The author believes that one of the lessons from studying the story of Joseph is “Do good or bad, but in either case disaster waits.” What does this mean?
a. It makes no difference whether or not you have integrity.
b. When you suffer, you did something wrong, just like God punished
    Joseph for his pride.
c. Life is unpredictable; suffering is inevitable.
d. Tragedies are more important than moments of shalom.

Chapter Four: Listening to What Moves You -- The Passion That Defines You (p. 57-71)
5. We cannot know our true self until we
a. behave consistently with our beliefs.
b. change harmful habits into goods habits.
c. name the passions of our ideal self.
d. establish a good reputation with others.

OUR TRUE SELF
What we do is what we value.
What we value enough to do tells others what we really believe.
What we really believes shapes what we will become.

THE PROCESS OF TRANSFORMATION BEGINS WITH ASKING
What moves me most deeply?
What do I most enjoy doing?
Where do I find the greatest pleasure and joy?
What is it about this activity, idea, or person that
brings me such a sense of life?

6. The key to decision-making is
a. maintaining a clear conscience.
b. knowing my strengths and weaknesses.
c. seeking wise counsel.
d. identifying my greatest pleasure.

Chapter Five: Facing the Tragedy That Shapes You -- Illuminating the Plot Twists of Shame and Betrayal (p. 73-87)

     Each human story involves moments of being unnamed through abandonment, betrayal,
and shame. The Bible talks about these experiences as being an orphan (a person
abandoned), a stranger (a person betrayed), and a widow (a person shamed). And God
reveals Himself to be the Person who perfectly meets the needs of each one. (p. 77)
 

7. If we face our tragedies rather than turn away from them,
a. we will become more tender toward ourselves and others.
b. we will experience less loneliness.
c. we will have better friendships.
d. we will hurt less.

Chapter Six: Getting Caught by Your Calling -- Revealing God Through the Themes of Your Life (p. 89-105)

8. How do I discover my life theme?
a. by identifying a pattern in my talents, interests, skills, and desires.
b. by discerning my mission or purpose in life.
c. by recognizing the way I help other people.
d. by asking those who love me what it’s like for them to be around me
    when I’m at my best and worst.

9. Your calling is
a. what you do for a living.
b. what you do for others.
c. how God helps you achieve you dreams.
d. what you reveal about God.

Chapter Seven: Writing Your Destiny -- Take Up Pen and Paper and Follow God (p. 109-126)

Whatever has wounded us most deeply will be part of what causes us to shout “No!”
And whatever has brought us the deepest joy and delight will steer us toward what we
are called to bless and welcome with our heartfelt, “Yes!”
 

10. Our deepest dreams are always about
a. heroes and villains.
b. sex and love.
c. righting wrong and growing good.
d. power and accomplishment.

    God’s plan is quite simple. He calls us to:
    Begin anywhere, and He will take us where He wants us to go.
    Start with our strengths, and He will reveal and use our weaknesses.
    Follow our desires, and He will grow His passion in us. (p. 125)

Chapter Eight: Editing Together -- Allowing Others to Ask “So What?” Questions (p. 127-141)
11. Our story should be written because
a. we are less likely to avoid our hurts when we see them in black and
    white.
b. it can then be read and edited by trusted others.
c. it can then be re-written to discover new stories in the GAPS.
d. all of the above.

Chapter Nine: Story Feasting -- The Community That Helps Rewrite Your Story (p. 145-165)
12. Elizabeth compares Christians telling their stories to the Biblical tradition of
a. Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:5-6)
b. Sabbath (Leviticus 23:3)
c. Year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-55)
d. Feast of Booths (Leviticus 23:33-36)

Chapter Ten: Prayer That Reveals -- Receiving Your Story, in Awe and Gratitude to God (p. 167-182)

13. During the moments of suffering that have marked us most deeply
with shame and sorrow, the problem we really have with God is
a. His presence: Where was He when we were suffering?
b. His apparent silence and lethargy: Why didn’t He prevent or stop the
    suffering?
c. His apparent powerlessness: Is He not able to prevent suffering?
d. His goodness: Why does He permit evil and suffering?

Chapter Eleven: The Fruit of Fasting -- The Hunger That Opens Space for Others (p, 183-200)
14. Which is TRUE?
a. Fasting intensifies our senses.
b. Fasting is a form of detoxification. It begins to break our addictive
    attachment to lesser gods to make room for the one God.
c. Fasting increases our desire for God.
d. All of the above.

    Fasting from any nourishment, activity, involvement, or pursuit…sets the stage for God
to appear… Fasting is not a tool to pry wisdom out of God’s hands or to force needed
insight about a decision. Fasting is the bulimic act of ridding ourselves of our fullness to
attune our senses to the mysteries that swirl in and around us. Sometimes God shows up.
And sometimes He feeds us. And every now and then He throws His wild glory before us
like bursting constellations, and it’s all we can do to wait for Him to leave, lest we be
destroyed in His presence…Fasting brings us to a suffering surrender, and if we continue
fasting, it will inevitably lead to quiet…Fasting anticipates the air being split by the coming
presence of the thunderclap of God…He will not neglect to hear the cries of His creation...
fasting intensifies our desire for God…and then increases a desire that can rightly be
called “homesickness”. We are told that Jesus will not drink of the vine nor eat of the
earth until we join Him at His table. (p. 186, 191)

Chapter Twelve: Giving Away Your Story -- Allow Your Story to Reveal God (p. 201-215)
15. What did the author mean when he said that he was indebted to those who sexually abused him?
a. His abusers taught him humility.
b. His abusers taught him to love the unlovable.
c. His abusers enabled him to endure suffering.
d. His abusers aroused in him a fury and defiance against injustice.