Saturday, August 8, 2009

I've been reading a book called
the Question Behind the Question
by John G. Miller.

Though it's really a book for 
corporations and businesses,
I'm fascinated by it
because of the simple fact
that there's usually another question
behind the question we're asking.

Example: In a corporate world, 
an employee might ask,
"Why doesn't our manager give us
enough budget to do a great job?"

The question that should be asked is,
"How can I do the best job possible with
the limited resources I have?"

I've been using this book to help me think
in terms of the girls in our sisterhood.

School is right around the corner,
and you're about to walk back onto your campus.
You may be tempted, after a few days,
to ask, "How come I don't have great friends?"

Let me challenge you to turn that around.
Ask instead, "What can I do to be a great friend to others?"

Instead of asking, "Why do I have such a lousy math teacher?"
Ask instead, "What can I do on my own to better understand the assignment?"

Instead of asking, "How come this jerk sits next to me in history class?"
Ask instead, "What can I do to be a positive light in his life?"

And I've also been thinking about some of the questions 
the disciples asked Christ.

In John 6:16, we read about a storm. 
The disciples were already in the boat.
Jesus  hadn't joined them yet.
Verse 19 tells us, "When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, 
they saw Jesus approaching the boat.
walking on the water; 
and they were terrified."

Jesus told them not to be afraid.
He got into the boat.
they were immediately on the shore!
(Scripture hints that Christ just PUT them
immediately where they needed to be.)

When they got to the shore, the crowds
who had been following Jesus couldn't
believe He was there.

They knew He hadn't rowed there.

In verse 25, some of the followers
asked Him HOW He got there.
WHEN He got there.

Jesus basically told them they 
weren't asking the right questions.

You see, their question really revealed
the question behind it!

They weren't actually interested
in Jesus' ministry on the shore.
Rather, they were into the spectacular.
They wanted to know about the "magic-ness"
of HOW He got there and WHEN it happened.

Their focus was completely off.
And Christ told them.

In the next couple of verses (26-27), He tries
to realign their focus.

As you think about your campus,
your friends,
your part-time job,
your family,
your community,
your future . . .
what questions are you asking?

Jesus LOVES your questions!
But He wants you to be asking the right ones.

Consider the questions you ask.
What's the REAL question behind the question you're asking?

We'll chat more about some off-beat questions
from the Bible.

But first . . . I want to know your thoughts about this.
And I want to know what kind of questions
you've been asking—that you're now beginning to realize
really weren't the right questions at all.

Love you!
Susie Shellenberger


  1. Hey Susie-

    I'm kind of going to copy some of your words for this, but change them a little. I'm not feeling very....thinkable right now. We just got back this afternoon from doing a Relay for Life (staying up all night walking for cancer). Lots of fun, but I'm exhausted!!!

    Anyway, one question I've been struggling a lot with is "Why do I feel so far away from God?" After getting back from camp a couple weeks ago, I'm realizing the question really was "What can I do to get close and stay close to God?" It's been helping a lot, I'm spending more time in my Bible, trying to memorize verses, and more time in prayer. I feel better now, and I hope I can continue to stay close to Him!!!

    I'll think about this some more though, I'm sure I have more!!!

    Oh, and THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WHAT YOU DO SUSIE (AND STAFF!)!!! You are amazing, and have helped me so much ever since I started to get Brio!!! I'm excited to get Susie mag, it looks even better!!!

    -Alana D.

  2. Thank you susie! That was very encouraging & thought provoking. This is definetely I want to keep in mind as I head into this new school year. Thank you! :)

  3. Thanks susie, that was a really good blog post!
    I know this is small compared to a lot of things but for me it's big cause I struggel with school. One question I have been asking is
    "Why do I have to do school?? It's so hard!!"
    I think the question I should be asking myself is can I makes school more fun? Can I think of way's not to get so distracted during school?
    LIke I said it doesn't seem to big to some people but it's different for everyone and this is the question that I have been asking.
    myself. Anyway, girls in the sisterhood it would be great if you could still be praying for me to finish school. I still have A LOT to do before Aug. 28th the day I need to be finished. Thanks guys!

  4. Susie,
    I will definetly remember that, as I go into the school year. THANK YOU so much for starting another mag after Brio stopped. My friend brought me to Brio and I loved it. After it stopped I was very sad. I can't tell you the joy I felt when I found your site online and found out that you actually have a printed magazine! THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!!!

    - Michelle

  5. Susie,
    That is awesome!!! I will definitely keep that in mind as school starts this week!!! And I agree with Michelle, thank you sosososo much for starting Susie mag!! I hope you know how much we all appreciate everything that you and the Susie staff do!!!

    Thanks again Susie!!

    And abby, I will keep praying for you. :-)

    ~~Meg ♥♥♥

  6. you guys are sooooo amazing! i can feel the prayers coming through. god bless you all! :)

    some of you asked what was wrong. a few things. to start, i have severe depression, and with that some suicidal thoughts. i am also recently getting over an abusing relationship, a relationship that let many wounds unhealed. I'm just trying to give all my scars, all my fears, all my unsureness, all my everything to Jesus. but as you all know, it can be very hard. and with my best friends ---- my only friend committing suicide, that just added to my stress and sadness. so, with that said, thank you soooo much for your prayers, and please keep praying!

    love you all!


  7. G: Omigosh! I'm so sorry for what you are dealing with. I told my friend about your friend, and she said she'd pray, and ask her friends to pray also. This is gonna sound terrible, but your one prayer request has caused me to pray more often and to help me in my Walk.
    Susie: I wanna thank you for all you do!! Words can't describe how much I appreciate what you and the others do for us teen girls!!
    Girls: Pray for my family (extended). They arent Christians (well, one or two are). Pray that God will hold them in His hands and protect them from the demons attacking their lives. Pray He'd send someone into their lives to help them know God...thanks!


  8. I have a weird question: What's the sisterhood?? And how do I sign up?
    Kay 8-)
    P.S. Luv you, girls!

  9. The sisterhood is starting in september
    "i think" on - if your currently with susiemag you'll get a code that you enter-i'm not sure of the details.
    I am sure its going to be great and filled with Excitement.We sorta have a temp-sister hood going right now on this blog.
    Yup i'll be Praying for ya'll, I'll bring up your request to my sundayschool class tomorrow-I'll just list it as unspoken request from my sisterhood Pals- I hope its alright with u guys,its a burden on my heart & I know Jesus knows our every need!
    we gotta Place our request in God's hands-
    "until the answer comes you gotta keep praying!
    ~Magilicutty :o)
    [Note to Susie]
    Hey it sounds like you had a great book -
    Obie liked it too "bummer"
    Looking at question's with a new light is a great idea,like i wonder just how am i going to make finances work ?
    " its i am thankful i have the resources-Let God Make it work together"

  10. "Special Appreciation goes out to ....
    "Alana D."
    hey I am So Thankful, ya did the relay for life this weekend- My sister has brain cancer and is given 13-7 years to live,she can't under go any more surgery's she has already had 2 in
    december & june "this means alot to our family! Many thanx goes out to you & all who gave you support!
    May God Smile upon you Today & always -

  11. Type'o its not 13-7,*its 3-7 yrs to live- ~Magilicutty

  12. Hey guys!!

    I am soo sorry!! Just remember that Jesus brings hope!!! He will help you through this, just place every single bit of doubt that you have in Him!! Jeremiah 29:11 --
    "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
    Remember this always! God cares about you and He has great things ahead for you!! ♥ Don't forget we all care about you too! :) I will continue to pray for you!

    I will definitely pray for you too. I have the same thing with my extended family -- I have such a big family and mine is the only one that has real faith. I will pray that God can use you as an example to the rest of your family.

    I will pray for your sister as well!!

    Luv u guys!!
    ~~meg ♥♥♥

  13. Susie, that was amazing! Thanks, and I will remember to do that this school year!
    G, wow I will totally pray for you, I can't imagine what you're going through!
    And Magilicutty, I will pray for your sister. That is so sad, but even though the doctor's said she only has 3-7 years, God can work miracles. I've heard stories of people who were supposed to die but then beat their illness. Keep hoping and trusting and praying!
    You sister in Christ,

  14. Girls, please stick with the subject on the blog. I want to know your questions and how God is helping you turn them around to the RIGHT questions.

    Love you!!!!

  15. Great thought Alana D. I've been struggling with feeling far away from God myself. Turning your doubts and fears around keeps you from falling into the self-pity trap. I think that satan can use self-pity to distract us and prevent us from being a light to other people.
    Allison (the other one...) :)

  16. Susie,

    LOVE this blog post! I know that last year in school I continued to put down this one teacher (silently and outwardly) and I've been feeling very guilty about it this summer. This year I want to be sure not to be asking why I have such a horrible teacher, but rather, how I can be kind and a light to her!

  17. Nicole-
    I have another one kind of like the one you said. I had a lot of problems in school the last few years with people being disrespectful and mean to me and all sorts of stuff. One thing I constantly asked myself is "Why do they hate me so much?" One thing I can do to change that is say "How can I be kind and a light to all of them?" similar to your question. I think we could all use that as a good "other question" to think about.

    And to make it short, thank you to some people and great thoughts!

    -Alana D.

  18. Oh yeah- and Magilicutty- no problem on the relay thing. I've had a lot of cancer around me in friends and family's a great cause.

    praying for all...

    -Alana D.

  19. I wish I would quit forgetting things!!!

    we also raised about 32,000 dollars I believe...and we live in a very rural area!! :o)

    Oh! Another question can come out of this too!!! Instead of asking why cancer exists, you should ask What can I do to help/fight it?

    -Alana D.

  20. Thats a good one Alana!! I will be praying for you all! Just remember God is always there for you!! He can take all of your burdens!! :D

  21. Great questions you guys!!!

    I have a question myself...
    Well there were 6 of us in my tight group of friends...we had been best friends practically since we met in kindergarten. This past year some feelings got hurt, and two of my friends teamed up on me and were practically bullying me. Only two of my friends stuck up for me. I kept asking myself "How could they be so mean?" when I really should have been asking "What can I do to be an example to them and radiate God's love?"

    it's nice to think like this...
    ~~meg ♥♥♥

  22. I really like that question you asked yourself MEg. Sometimes when one of my teammates are being mean to me I need to be asking the same thing about Gods love instead of getting frustrated and wondering why they are so mean.
    Love you sisses!

  23. ya i agree-my pastor was grumpy today,
    Instead of wondering why he was so crabby,he must have not had a nap today,
    I then thought of susie's blog post-
    I should say i better Pray for him,because ya never know what his day might have been like . and prayer changes things, just like the way we ask questions,if we change the way we ask ?' changes the way we think-
    ~Magilicutty 8/9/09