Thursday, June 4, 2009

Who Do You Hang With?

I plan to conduct a more thorough book review for Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith, but today I want to share some essential things I’ve absorbed from the book so far…

Two Jewish terms:

Haverim: a group of students partnered together for the sake of enhancing learning, studying religious texts and growing closer to God.

Talmidim: A disciple or student, one who dedicated himself to learning a rabbi’s understanding of Scripture and his way of living it out.

Now, some quotes from the book and then I’ll give you my brief application:

“The overall goal of discipleship is not simply to grow in self-discipline, but to be transformed into the likeness of Christ.”

“A rabbi was to model how to live by using examples of his own life.”

“Rabbis believed that humility was an indispensable condition for learning.”

“None of us is so mature that we cannot be influenced.”


“Someone once said that we should always be discipling at least one person, and being discipled by another. Who are you being discipled by? And who are you discipling?"


I interpret this to mean:

~~ I should look to have at least one mentor in my life, someone willing to hold me accountable, guide me along in my spiritual walk, someone excited to encourage me to grow. I look for this person to be at a deeper spiritual place than myself, though rich with humility. My goal is to learn, learn, learn from them. Thankfully, I have several women who fulfill this role in my life.

~~ I should have a “haverim,” or group of women “in this thing” with me. This group walks alongside me on this journey, learning with me and also nudging me to grow in my faith. Many of you have taken on aspects of a haverah in my life. I have dear friends in this role and find new ones as I attend different Bible studies.

~~ I should be discipling to others. I should be sharing what I’ve learned in a transparent and loving way to one or more people, urging them on in their faith. I’m touched and honored to say I’ve got my “Bible Babes.” I lead a small group of sharp young women, thirsty for God’s truth and light. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about them soon. We are studying one of the BEST books on faith I’ve ever read, Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I know the girls are going to be thrilled to have their picture featured with monkeys. :D

Question for you to think about:
Who are you being discipled by? And who are you discipling? Do you have a haverim (group) or a haverah (singular female) to grow with you?

*photo of three Bible Babes
**monkey photos by flickr


  1. This is a GREAT post. You've really got me thinking about where I should be versus where I am. Thank You.

  2. Wendy I have to say you really got me thinking I do need to hold myself more accountable for my faith as I haven't been here lately. I have to make sure that I am pushing myself as well as having women around me support that. I do have women who support me in different aspects of my life but I don't have that special group of women in my faith as I did back in St. Louis. Something I will be working on, thank you for sparking the idea in my life and helping to guide me often even though I don't often post. You have quite the following even if you don't know it.

  3. Trying! I'm trying to get my group of ladies together soon:)) It is so tough here as we are all spread out and the big church issue. I have a close friend up north and we keep each other accountable weekly--that helps too.

  4. Wonderful! I have a fantastic haverim, and since I'm one of the women in charge of the children's Sunday School program in our congregation, I find myself constantly discipling others. Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly teaching others by what we do (not always by what we say)>

    Of course, the most important discipling I do is with our six children within the walls of our home. I also have grown tremendously due to my wonderful study partner/best friend/husband. So many blessings.

  5. I currently don't have a mentor ahead of me, although God's blessed me at different periods when I really needed it and brought the right women into my life. I have a wonderful support group of women that I grow with. And then I'm always sensitive to mentoring others, and in fact just finished leading a young mom's group this spring. I would consider my top discipling role at this point in my life to be my children. They take the top slot with my energy and time as far as discipling. And when they're grown, I know I'll devote more intensive time to others.

  6. Wow Wendy, You never fail to make me think.
    I am blessed to have a few mentors. Each one seems to take responsibility for a different aspect of my life.
    When it comes to my Haverim, I have a few very special women and we work hard to help each other grow. My family belongs to a wonderful Life Group who is our Family Haverim. –Looking for a group on the writing front, but until God provides it, I am content knowing that I am where He wants me to be.
    I consider my children and their friends my Talmidim. Our home is the safe zone for many kids and I know God has called us to step back from being Youth Leaders for a time so we can be available to our own children, neighborhood kids, and their friends.

  7. This is a great post worthy of the readers self evaluation. It's wonderful to fellowship with my Godly friends I only wish there were more hours in the day. Love your blog and Anne L.B. has a wonderful blog about our Lord as well.

  8. I've had many mentors, what a blessing. I am looking forward to starting CBS again in the fall with a great group of women and I know at different times in my life I have been a mentor to others, hopefully I am for my children!

  9. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog today. I came over to read more about you and I am glad I did!

  10. Great post! I don't have a havera, but I do have a haverim (a small group of married couples my husband and I meet with every Sunday evening). We do a Bible study, discuss the sermon, or a book study. Then the last hour, we split up (women and men) and do accountability/prayer request type stuff. It's great!

    As far as who am discipling? Over the summers I lead a Bible Study of teenage girls. They're going to be freshman this year. It's a lot of fun. :)

  11. Suzann, I think I'm forever thinking about where I should be vs: where I am.

    Doodles :D, Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes it takes time to find that group. Sometimes for me it's just one other close friend. I just know I need someone to encourage me to go further, keep walking at times.

    Terri, looking forward to hearing how that group comes together.

    Luisa, I agree wholeheartedly that we teach more by what we do than what we say. I also agree and am thankful you brought up the discipling of children...isn't that huge? That role? I sometimes get insecure in it, that I'm to teach them so much, that they rely on me, someone with so many flaws to raise them "right". It feels better to just say I'm trying to raise them to love God and others...ah, feeling a bit better.

    Jody, I bet those young moms found your insight invaluable! You've taught me a lot since I've "known" you.

    Andrea, I enjoyed reading about how connected you are. I know God will provide that writing group for you. And thank you for the thinking comment--it is what I love to do--think and cause others to think as well.

    T.Anne, I wish I knew how to link in comments b/c I have to admit that Anne L.B. DOES have such an insightful blog. By her blog alone I feel pushed and moved forward in faith. I stop there every day! Thanks for pointing it out.

    Kara, I really hope I am for my children too.

    Laura, I'm glad you did too...I was curious b/c of the word testosterone (besides my man, we have little of that in my home.)

    Katie, ohh, those girls get 4 more years with you! They are lucky. I like how the men and women split for a time in your small group too. We are kicking that around in ours.

    I hope you all realize I am learning from you. I am growing and having "thoughts that move" because of you and of course b/c of God. Praise Him.

    ~ Wendy

  12. What a great post. Stopping by from SITS to leave some bloggy love!

  13. Hey Wendy,
    This is such a great post. Thank you for sharing so much to think about!

    I must say that I am very thankful to have few great mentors in my life, and a few great groups of friends, or "unbiological sisters" as I like to call them. I learn from these women all the time, and I am so thankful for that as well!

    I think I just might have to read Crazy Love!

    Thanks again for sharing and have a wonderful weekend!


  14. This is a great post, Wendy. :D There are so many shining examples for me to learn from and grow from. :D I think the best we can do is to be the best examples of our best selves as often as possible. :D


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