Welcome to the Jesus Before Christ Blog. As a fellow pilgrim on the journey we hope you will share your insights, questions and learnings here, so others may benefit and comment.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How to use this study

As one of the creators of Jesus Before Christ, I want to welcome you to our Blog, which is designed to be a place where you may share your questions, suggestions, responses or discoveries with others who are working with this study.

What are some of the ways to use this material?

Individual Journey -- You do not need a teacher or leader to use the study. Read the Introduction, then start anywhere in the study that attracts you. Or begin with the first level of the Beatitudes section and work your way through to the end. We encourage you to record your responses, questions and discoveries in your personal journal, and we hope you will post some or all of your responses here, as well.

With a Group -- You may choose to journey through the study with a friend with a group from your church. It can be helpful to be sharing your discoveries from the start with others. I find this to be stimulating and exciting, since each of us will gain insights according to our individual life experience and spiritual journey.

With an egroup -- Find a friend here, and share your journey and discoveries at your own pace, through email, Twitter, or text messaging.

Other Ways -- What are other ways you can imagine using the study? We would love to hear from you.


  1. Beatitudes-Spaces
    Those who know me well recognize that sitting still and meditating is a not something that comes easily for me. My mind usually fills with what needs to be done. I tend to be a “Martha”. I want to make sure things are ready, organized, should I make more food, do we need more blankets. I love El Jardin because I enjoy taking care of travelers. I think one of my gifts is that of hospitality, however, maybe it is a sort of curse also. I don’t often sit and quiet my brain. I’m bad at the unhurried, breathing in of essence, I tend to want to get on to the next project.
    My challenge to myself is going to be developing a time of reflection and mediation.

  2. Beatitudes- Images
    Challenge to self...
    More acknowledgement to people in the good things they do.
    Read one of the books in the bibliography.
    Write actual letters to folks who are "poor in spirit" ( I have a list of them)

  3. Thurs. Sept. 22
    I am really trying to quiet myself in mediation, not an easy feat for me, but I continue to work on it. Wrote some more letters to folks on my list of “those who mourn”. My definition of mourning is expanding as I ponder on its meaning. I also realized…duh…how many of my own neighbors, folks who live within my literal reach, are in some kind of mourning. A woman and her two teen age boys who recently lost husband/father to cancer, brain tumor discovered in a 38yr old father of 3, woman of 55 with a mysterious ailment and can’t get relief from the pain, a woman dealing with the details of her fathers mismanaged accounts after his death. And the list goes on. Wow, how dense am I to not reach out in a more supportive way than a casual chat at the curb. Three casseroles later, my challenge is to be more aware and helpful of the poor in spirit directly around me!

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  5. I believe that any story told to us have a lesson to be learned. The story could have been written to that purpose, or if not, we can always use our own minds to come with some kind of lesson that could be applied to our own situations and us. I would go one more real life experiences, dreams etc. all have a lesson (or many lessons depending on interpretation and current situation) to teach the listener if the listener choose to find it!
    The story level in the Beatitudes tells me that Jesus with his very contradictory images is giving me a punch to the head and asks me to use my God given powers o reflection, of that part that makes us homo sapiens sapiens. Asks us to exercise them when in the midst of oppression, hunger, sickness and death. I can choose to see that where I am at the present moment will then pass, but while I am in that moment, go within the experience and find out the blessings hidden within. Because what we label “negative” it may just bee that another label, judging and could create more strife (what Buddhist call shempa) The idea is another concept on my head, and although I will make something to get unstuck on that situation, there will be something to take out of that state. Being aware and awake in every moment of life, live and feel deeply, widely and intensively, to know that we know we are alive and in touch with the Divine and find who we really are in any of those situations indeed would bring blessings to ourselves and people around us.

    Thank you for the space to comment about the program. This is great! Blessings.

  6. Forgot to say: The above work, being awake, probably is the most hard work of all! OK signing off.

  7. Am I the only one studying right now?

    1. Wesley,
      We have heard from many people from places in North America, the continent of Africa and Europe who have been using jb4c. We do not know how many are currently studying. Gary and I are leading a course on the Fourth Gospel that we hope to make available some time soon. Thank you for your interest in our study. Sincerely, Stephen Brewer