Monday, May 27, 2013

Ascension Press: Walking Toward Eternity Series Two

Welcome back! Normally, I take this first paragraph of my post to elaborate on a part of my life. I feel it adds a little touch to my blog, and let's my readers get to know me. I don't want people thinking I am just a review robot that inputs products and outputs reviews. However, today I would like to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day, remember those who passed away defending the freedoms of our country, and thank those currently in service, like my brother-in-law.

Today, I am reviewing the second part of the Walking Toward Eternity Series, available at Ascension Press. I reviewed the first part back in January in case anyone needs a refresher on what that one was about. Walking Toward Eternity: Engaging the Struggles of Your Heart is another masterful study put together by Jeff and Emily Cavins. Where Series One focused on positive aspects in the Christian life, such as love and forgiveness, Series Two focuses on negative aspects in our lives, such as envy and anger. The format is the same for Series Two, so if you have taken a Cavins course before, you'll feel right at home. If you have not, it is very approachable and the learning curve is not steep. The format of the study consists of four days of journaling, reading Scripture, and praying.
  • Day 1 - You focus on the meaning of the particular struggle/obstacle in your spiritual life, i.e., envy.
  • Day 2 - You look at how God views this obstacle and why it is important to get it in check in your life.
  • Day 3 - You examine steps and Scripture on how you can overcome this struggle.
  • Day 4 - You select the Scripture that spoke to you the most this week and pray using Lectio Divina.
  • Meeting Day - You watch the DVD lecture, about an hour long, and as a group you go through the questions outlined for you with each week.
I really enjoy the format of this study. Some studies expect you to read seven days AND do a DVD. That can get overwhelming, especially for someone like me with a new baby. I always felt bad when I missed a day in those series, and that I was slacking with God and my group. However, four days and a meeting day seems like the perfect amount of time and material. It even provides a built-in two day cushion if you do miss a day.

Now that I have discussed the format. I want to briefly touch on the content. Discussed in this series are appetites, shame, envy, anger, fear, loneliness, and hopelessness. As Jeff Cavins points out in the DVDs, people join a program like this, learn a lot about those topics, but then fail to make the necessary changes in their life. That's why he wants you to ask God three questions each week as it relates to each struggle. Let's stick with the example of envy. 1. What are you putting your hand on in my life that needs changing in relation envy? 2. What do I specifically need to do to change? 3. When am I going to take the first step of changing?

This was an excellent program and a great followup to Walking Toward Eternity: Daring to Walk the Walk. You don't HAVE to take Series One before this one, but I would highly recommend it. I have nothing but positive things to say about this program, but I would say that Jeff Cavins presentations are the jewel of the series. His talks are brilliant but practical, and he makes sure the audience knows that he is not perfect, which makes them relatable. They also contain the right amount of seriousness and humor, which is appreciated.

Pick up this 5 star series from Ascension Press. You can use it to lead a small group, or if you're feeling ambitious, you can lead something at the parish level. There is a Leader's Guide in the Starter Pack that will help you not only get your program started, but will help you see it through to completion. Then, after you complete this study program, participate in or lead another. Ascension Press has many great titles including ones on Prayer, different books of the Bible, Church History, and one that looks really interesting to me on the Catechism.

If you found this review helpful, please click the link and hit Yes.