Why We Should Practice Telling the Story

I’m studying 1 and 2 Samuel right now and Samuel gives a farewell speech to the Israelites in chapter 12. Samuel briefly rehearses the history of Israel and he recalls- well, you can go read it. Chapter 12, 1 Samuel. You got it.

What grabs my attention is how often the Israelites tell this story. God brought His people out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. This is told over and over. The Psalm recount the stories of God creating the world, God rescuing His people, God providing in the midst of no sustenance.

Maybe it was because they didn’t have paper and books and iPhones to read from. Maybe it was that storytelling burned deep in the hearts of a few of those humans and they didn’t have Evernote files saved to the cloud. They couldn’t stay up too late typing notes on their Macs.

The Podcast Relaunches

Running your own race means learning to follow Jesus, to know God and commune with Him in your specific context. The who you are will become like Jesus. That doesn’t change your gender, hair color, height, or body shape. Your physical geography might not change (or it might). You might still get up and change diapers or persuade juries or see patients, just like you did before. But your heart will change. Your mind will change. The way you see life will change. Your character will change.

How do we do this? How do we become disciples? What does it look like to follow Jesus? I’m constantly asking myself these questions and decided to explore them on the podcast.

The podcast has been on a hiatus since late last year and after many conversations and hours of work, it’s relaunching as “Becoming Disciples.” Our calling as believers is to go and make disciples. It’s a calling for everyone. And what better way to explore what it means to become a disciple- to learn to walk with God, to know Him- than to talk about it, read about it, and share with you about it.

The trailer is up now! Find the podcast in iTunes or Stitcher or Spotify. I love hearing from you and the main way to get in touch with me is on Instagram. I will be using my normal instagram account for the podcast as well.

Thanks for all your support of the podcast. You all are the best!

 

How To Start Running Your Own Race

We’ve talked about our calling to specific lives in the context of a universal calling. We’ve discussed things that keep us from running our own race. But how do we start running our race? If we’re going to leave behind comparison and competing, where do we go?

Tools: 

When we want to become skilled in a service industry or become a doctor or lawyer, the first thing we do is start studying. We go to school. We attend workshops. But we don’t do this with life outside of our very specific jobs. (And really, so many of us don’t have very specific jobs.) We believe that God is remaking our humanity and apparently think we don’t have any responsibility in cooperating with His work. Of course when I write that out, it seems crazy. But I did it for years. I seemed to expect that automatically ideas would come to me in the dark hours of the night. Now, occasionally they do; but it’s because I’m putting in a lot of work behind the scenes and my brain is already moving.

What Distracts Us from Running Our Race

Sometime in the past two years, I learned about the enneagram. This system of understanding personalities has reshaped how I view the world. I used to think I was strange. (Ok, I know I’m strange, but that’s not what I’m talking about.) I knew a long time ago that I looked at situations in drastically different ways than the people around me. I assumed that everyone else was the same and I was an anomaly.

Enter the enneagram, where I learned that there are many different ways of looking at the world and many people that fall into each category. I was different from many other people, but not abnormal. Most of the ways I process life are very typical for an enneagram 8, even if they aren’t typical for a 2 or a 6.

The point is not the enneagram (although I do love it). The point is that God made us differently- and it’s a good thing. Beyond our actual physical context and life situations, our internal contexts are different. Even if we do some of the same things, the actions are driven by different motivations.

Becoming Like Jesus in Your Unique Life

For several years, I’ve been listening to a lot of conversations that create dualities. Self-care or self-denial? God made you with interests and passions so that you could use them for Him or the Christian life is a study of denial and hardship?

Of course, I think it’s both. I’m rolling my eyes because I find myself saying this about more and more topics. But what if we anchored a cord on each side of these discussions and leaned our weight on both? What if we took care of ourselves because we are made in God’s image and God cares about us and we can’t pour out of empty cups? And what if we practiced self-denial and put other people first and did work that maybe we didn’t want to do?

What if God made you expressly for the purpose of using the way He made you and yet that way of being part of His plan is full of difficulty and hardship? What if He intends for the very things that make you come alive to also refine you the most?

What if being disciples of Jesus meant that we are all being transformed into the image of Jesus but that it plays out in different ways in each of us? What if you are actually supposed to live a life that’s different from your neighbor, friend, or the person who sits in the pew beside you?

Rare Disease Day 2019: when you’re reminded it’s rare

In January, we got phone call from Micah’s nutritionist. She announced that the company that makes Micah’s medical formula was discontinuing the product, but she would send us some samples of another option. (There are only a few formula options for Micah’s disorder.) These samples would be similar to the old powder formula that he used as a baby.

It felt like the air was sucked out of the room. I was back in our apartment kitchen, looking at an immersion blender and a collection of small bottles as I mixed formula and measured each feeding into separate bottles. This was my nightly routine once we had tucked Micah in bed. Then I snuck away for a little bit of sleep before the alarm went off, waking me up to feed him again. Occasionally I would wake unexpectedly and panic for a few moments. Was it time to feed him? Had I already fed him? Had I overslept the alarm?

A Woman’s Place and the Implications of our Theology

As I wrap up this gender series, I alternate between feeling hopeful and despondent. I feel hopeful because this is a conversation; people are starting to ask questions. There are raised hands all over the back of the room that most people are trying to ignore, but the hands are there. I feel despondent though because it’s still a conversation. There are plenty of people who are unwilling to evaluate their stance or ask relevant questions. I’m working on moving from wondering why God asked me to do something that seems pointless to praying believing that God is already working.

I realize this is culturally motivated, especially in the area where I live. This way of looking at the genders is historically grounded. Do we think this is the one thing the world has gotten right? That women are second or confined to certain spaces or somehow less than men is the one thing that we have in common with Islam, for example?

We’ve created a lot of problems and as we’re searching for solutions, we seem unwilling to evaluate why the problems exist. Why are women not equipped to teach the Bible? Why do men not read books written by women? Why are there continuous sex scandals in the church? Why are there so many weird things said about women with no pushback from leadership? We could stop and realize that our own theology often sets us up neatly for these situations.