In Delivered, A Memoir, Janet Gillispie, together with Sammie Jo Barstow, offers a riveting memoir that proves even a life filled with decades of addiction, divorce, prostitution, homelessness, abortion, and loss can be completely delivered.
Book Club Guide
- For most readers, Janet’s story offers glimpses into another world that they’ve only heard snippets of in the news or magazines, never a first-person account. What parts her story affected you the most? What shocked you the most?
- Most of us know people who have struggled with addictions; some of us have struggled with them ourselves. Do the personal glimpses into the thoughts and feelings of this memoir change the way you view people struggling with addictions? Why or why not?
- Even before Janet became a Christian, many people showed the love of God to her in her adult years, and she treated them all badly. What sacrifices do you think it would take for a believer to become involved in a lost person’s life to that extent?
- Not all believers who impact non-believers have the privilege of seeing the change that Ted and the others involved in Janet’s life saw. What are some examples you know of people who seem to never change? How do you deal with the discouragement of that?
- After Janet had her encounter with Christ and her life changed so dramatically, mentors were instrumental in her discipleship as she learned to live differently. Have you thought about getting or becoming a mentor? Why or why not?
- The amount of pain, violence, loss and bad decisions Janet suffered are difficult to fathom. But today Janet’s excitement, joy, and enthusiasm for the gospel are contagious. Read Luke 7:36-50. We have also been forgiven much, for all have sinned and fallen impossibly short of His glory. Why do you think so many of us don’t share her level of everyday enthusiasm for sharing the gospel? How can we gain more of her daily awareness of all that we’ve been forgiven, and find more joy?
- Ask God to open your eyes to people living outside your comfort zone—in other parts of your city and town, and outside your church—and to show you how you can be the presence of Christ to them.
- For those struggling with addictions and for prodigals, pray that they would have an encounter with Christ that would change the course of their lives. Ask Him to protect them, open their eyes to truth, and intervene in a might way in their lives.
- Make one step to becoming involved in someone else’s life. Ask God to direct you where He wants you to go, whether it’s Angel Tree, CWJC, or another ad-hoc ministry opportunity such as babysitting for a single mom, and see through the commitment.
- Consider purchasing some gift cards in small denominations to keep in your car or wallet—$5 or $10 to an accessible fast food place, for example—and be ready to hand those out instead of cash to people who ask you for money. Be ready with a response to invite them to church or another place where they can encounter God’s love. Pray about each encounter before it happens and afterward, that God will intervene in hearts and circumstances.