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Stéphanie Rousselle

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  1. Gospel Spice Summer Inspirations Have you recently wondered if you are going crazy, or if it is the world around us that has gone mad? Today, Stephanie welcomes dear friend and Gospel Spice team member Lindsay, who is a Christian psychotherapist with over 20 years of professional experience helping believers and non-believers through the struggles of life. Lindsay shares that she is seeing a greater than ever proportion of patients who struggle with anxiety, depression, and/or boundary concerns, and a lot of teenagers too. So, she describes for us some of the symptoms of these presentations in order to help each one of us assess if we are experiencing some form of anxiety or depression, or go to the root of some of our relational tensions. She then takes us to the origin of the problem in Genesis 3 before she offers simple, practical DIY tips to overcome early stages of anxiety, depression and relational boundary issues. You will leave this conversation, having identified if you are even mildly struggling with these issues, and having practical, daily tips to start or continue the journey out of these difficult struggles. Lindsay gives us permission to struggle, and hope to know it is only temporary. She reminds us of our deep identity IN CHRIST, in the great I AM in whose strength we rest. She reminds us of our role to be ambassadors and stand-ins for God to one another as image bearers. So, if you or a loved one are struggling with any of these descriptions, you will be encouraged as you are reminded of you true and deepest identity. The seemingly simple choices that Lindsay offers as practical solutions are indeed simple - but the key is in their daily, consistent implementation. It is simple, but not necessarily easy - which is why we need community with one another and most of all, with God Himself. We will discover once again that it all boils down to who we know and experience God to be. Lindsay referenced a most useful book, BOUNDARIES by Cloud and Townsend. In August 2022, it is on sale at Christianbook.com for $5!!! So grab it now. Otherwise, here is also an amazon link to purchase it: https://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-Updated-Expanded-When-Control/dp/0310351804/ --------------------------------------------------- Disclaimer - you may need professional help, and we warmly encourage you to seek it if you need it!
  2. Summer Inspirations | Gospel Spice How can you make sure you have a well-spent summer? For today's episode, Stephanie has curated three of her most important not-so-secret secrets for a successful summer in particular, and a successful life in general: - Read your Bible to grow closer to the Lord and develop intimacy with Him; - Don't compare to others, but seek to serve them in humility; - Take time to rest, worship, and laugh. For each of these, Stephanie welcomes a dear friend to highlight each element today. So you're getting THREE conversations in this one episode! It is our special Summer gift to you, our beloved audience. First Stephanie welcomes Shadia Hrichi who shares with us her own journey towards deep intimacy with God. They discuss Hagar, a very special woman in the Bible who gets to give God one of His names - "the God who sees me." They also mostly focus on Tamar, whose powerful story of brokenness is redeemed by the only One who is able to deliver us from our bondage, fear, and trials. Do you need to be reminded that God is FOR you? You are not alone, and He is in every detail of your life. He is especially attentive when things are not going as you want them to - which is probably the case for most of us right now, in this season of the world when everything seems upside down and when it might feel that God is distant! He is closer than ever to the brokenhearted. Then Stephanie welcomes Shannon Popkin who reminds us that we are all attacked by the very real enemy of our soul who seeks to distract us from the Lord. Using the same old tricks that have worked for thousands of years, the devil seeks to entice us to compare to one another because that is exactly what he did with God - he wanted to be better than God Himself. We live in a culture that tells us that, unless we are number one, we are worthless. This is deeply damaging to the very fabric of our soul. With her book "Comparison Girl", Shannon reminds us that the cure towards wholesome healing is simple - yet not easy: we are never happier than when we take our eyes off of ourselves, and focus on another. Humility and other-centered service is the simple yet overlooked secret to a fulfilling life. Jesus role-modeled it for us, and invites us to step closer to His heart through selfless humility. How simple, yet how profound! Finally, Stephanie is thrilled to welcome Marci Seither who invites you to join her for a summer of pondering the goodness of God through rest, laughter and meditation. In her new devotional, Lakeside Retreat, Marci beckons us to experience God in the daily, to embrace Him in the simple, and to delight in Him in every moment. Her book is the perfect summer getaway to come back refreshed, renewed, and more in love with God than ever. MEET MARCI SEITHER Marci Seither’s writing career began after her humor article was published in a small-town newspaper. Since then she has authored two books and hundreds of articles for local papers, as well as for Guideposts, Light & Life, and Focus on the Family. She is a creative storyteller who has shared her love of stories with hundreds of schoolchildren as well as those attending one of her workshops. Besides writing, she enjoys trying new recipes, food photography, and capturing drone footage. Her biggest joy, besides being married to John for more than three and a half decades and raising six kids, is being grandma to six of the cutest kiddos in this hemisphere. Marci makes her home in the Nashville, Tennessee, area with John and their very spoiled miniature schnauzer—Pepper. website: http://marciseither.com/ Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/marci.seither Instagram @marci_seither MEET SHANNON POPKIN Shannon Popkin is a writer, speaker, and Bible teacher who loves to blend her gifts for storytelling and humor with her passion for Jesus. Shannon regularly speaks at Christian women's events and retreats, inviting women to live like God's Word is true. Shannon is the author of Comparison Girl: Lessons from Jesus on MeFree Living in a Measure-Up World, Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible, and co-author of Influence (Building a Platform That Elevates Jesus (Not Me). She's been featured on FamilyLife Today, Revive Our Hearts, and Proverbs 31. Popkin and her husband Ken have been married for twenty-five years and live in West Michigan. They have three young adult children, and two shih tzus, who (unlike the kids) have no plans of moving out. Website: https://www.shannonpopkin.com/ Podcast https://www.shannonpopkin.com/bible-podcast/ Social Media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shanpopkin/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shannonpopkin/ Twitter: @shannonpopkin Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ShannonPopkin/boards MEET SHADIA HRICHI Shadia is a passionate Bible teacher, author and speaker who has a heart for seeing lives transformed by the power of God’s Word. She holds a master’s in biblical and theological studies from Western Seminary and is author of several books and Bible studies. After seminary, Shadia began writing the Bible study series, BEHIND THE SEEN: Exploring the Bible’s Unsung Heroes. Gritty stories of real people with impossible challenges whose encounters with God open our eyes to His awesome power and love working behind the seen. Explore these stories through Shadia’s Bible Studies. website: https://www.shadiahrichi.com/ Social media: https://www.facebook.com/Shadia.Hrichi.Author.Speaker https://twitter.com/ShadiaHrichi https://www.pinterest.com/shadiahrichi/_created https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4633012 https://www.linkedin.com/in/shadiahrichi https://www.instagram.com/shadiahrichi https://www.amazon.com/Shadia-Hrichi/e/B00DZ0LUWE https://www.youtube.com/c/shadiahrichi https://www.bookbub.com/authors/shadia-hrichi
  3. Hone your leadership skills. Our Summer series invite you to ponder important topics for daily living. Stephanie and her occasional guests tell us about the importance of our definition of success, the key elements of leadership roles, the traps of comparison, the importance of theology, and much more! These stand-along episodes are meant to encourage you and challenge you to experience deeper fruitfulness in your various roles and ministries, in all the relationships and areas of your life. Today's theme is leadership. We are all leaders, in one capacity or another. If you don't think you are ever in a position of leadership, think again! Leadership does not necessarily mean a large organisation. You lead as a parent, as a student, as a peer, and in many areas that might not feel like leadership as the world defines it! For example, a mother who is potty-training her child has to exhibit a certain and real set of leadership skills. A teacher in the classroom, or a small group leader at church, all have to learn how to improve their leadership skills. So... What is a good leader--and how can you spot a bad leader a mile away? What are the various traits of leadership, and how do they differ from styles of leadership? How can you learn from good and bad leaders? How do you identity bad leadership? How do you handle the various responsibilities that comes with your leadership? Stephanie gave this presentation to a group of Gospel Spice leadership trainees. You will get to hear their questions in the Q&A session at the end of this episode. If you are interested to participate in the next GospelSpice leadership training, email us at contact@gospelspice.com. We hope to hold the next sessions in early 2023. If you wish to access the video that contains the deck of slides that Stephanie used, become a member at gospelspice.com (it's free) and you will find it on our member community board in "Stephanie's library."
  4. Culture, Parables, Egalitarians and Complementarians What are your thoughts on the importance of understanding culture to experience the teachings of Jesus at a deeper level? And, what about the gender debate in the church? And, pray tell, what on earth do these two questions have in common? Get ready for a meaty conversation today! Stephanie welcomes Dr Michelle Lee Barnewall, who is associate professor of biblical and theological studies at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. A Korean-American who grew up in Minnesotta and have lived throughout the US, she has a unique perspective on culture and is the author of several books, two of which we are discussing today. One is about the evangelical gender debate around egalitarianism and complementarism; the other is about entering the parables of Jesus as He intended. What do these two topics have in common? Several things we discuss: - a humble approach to culture, - a spirit of teachability, - the ministry of reconciliation, - a focus away from individualism, and towards a spirit of community. This conversation will most likely challenge your perspective, and we hope and pray it is the springboard to growth, and deeper intimacy with the Spirit of the living God! As Michelle says, "let's welcome the tension so that we will grow through it. Let's be comfortable with tension." This conversation feels a little like a seminary class under Michelle's expert teaching... and that is something to enjoy deeply! MEET MICHELLE LEE BARNEWALL Michelle Lee-Barnewall (PhD, University of Notre Dame) is associate professor of biblical and theological studies at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, in La Mirada, California. Besides the two books we are discussing in this episode, she is also the author of Paul, the Stoics, and the Body of Christ. Her next book? She brings her reflections on growing up as a minority race in America. It's a combination of personal experience and Biblical New Testament theology and it will come out in the future! ABOUT “NEITHER COMPLEMENTARIAN NOR EGALITARIAN: A Kingdom corrective to the evangelical gender debate" Regarding gender relations, the evangelical world is divided between complementarians and egalitarians. While both perspectives have much to contribute, the discussion has reached a stalemate. Michelle Lee-Barnewall critiques both sides of the debate, challenging the standard premises and arguments and offering new insight into a perennially divisive issue in the church. She brings fresh biblical exegesis to bear on our cultural situation, presenting an alternative way to move the discussion forward based on a corporate perspective and on kingdom values. Buy the book on Amazon now "Imagine using core biblical themes like corporateness, servant leadership, mutuality, and unity to discuss issues of the relationship of men and women to one another in the church. Imagine focusing not on power or rights but on the example of Christ. If you imagine reframing the gender discussion in helpful ways, then you will be interested in Neither Complementarian nor Egalitarian. When one serves while leading and pays special attention to corporate versus individual themes, things are transformed from the way the world (and sometimes the way the church on both sides of the debate) talks about them. Read this book no matter which side of the debate you are on--and think afresh." --Darrell L. Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary "The church's debate over gender and leadership has become an intractable problem because we have adopted the model of the world, where leadership is about equality, rights, privilege, power, and position. Michelle Lee-Barnewall calls for a radical paradigm shift that adopts the upside-down values of the kingdom of God, where humility, love, service, unity, and responsibility replace power, privilege, and position as the guiding principles for true servant leadership. If put into practice, this book would transform not only the gender debate but also the prevailing model for all Christian leadership." --Mark L. Strauss, Bethel Seminary San Diego "This well-written book offers a gentle word of correction to sincere Christ followers who are honestly trying to search for biblical truth. It's a perspective-giving message that describes in biblical terms the only way to establish church unity, and it issues a quiet, radical call for pastors and church elders to imitate Christ and the apostles and recall the real cost of discipleship. I highly recommend it as a required textbook for seminary leadership courses." --Sarah Sumner, author of Men and Women in the Church: Building Consensus on Christian Leadership "In a debate often polarized by shrill rhetoric, Lee-Barnewall rightly urges us instead to take each passage and argument on its own terms and to put kingdom principles first. Regardless of whether one agrees with every detail of Lee-Barnewall's reconstruction, her spirit and larger vision offer a constructive way forward, including a willingness to hear and learn from those with whom we may not agree on every point." --Craig S. Keener, Asbury Theological Seminary ABOUT “SURPRISED BY THE PARABLES: GROWING IN GRACE THROUGH THE STORIES OF JESUS.” Jesus' parables can't simply be interpreted--they must be experienced. In the Gospels, Jesus used parables to teach transformative lessons and convey deep spiritual truths about the kingdom of God. But he often used them to confront and challenge his audience as well, forcing his listeners to open or close their hearts to the kingdom. Jesus understood the power of stories, but we lose things in translation when we try to interpret those same stories thousands of years removed from their original context. The unexpected twists and surprises in the parables might be missed by a modern audience because we're unfamiliar with the underlying points of reference. In Surprised by the Parables, Michelle Lee-Barnewall explores the ancient context for Jesus' parables. These stories of grace reveal mysteries central to God's character, and understanding the ancient world behind them will help us see the parables from a new perspective. Buy the book on Amazon now “The parables are some of the most important teachings we have from Jesus, but many modern readers of the Gospels find them puzzling. Why did Jesus teach like this? What was his message? Lee-Barnewall packs deep wisdom into this concise book, shedding light on context and unpacking how the parables are stories of divine grace.” ―Nijay K. Gupta, associate professor of New Testament, Portland Seminary “Written with passion and candor, Michelle Lee-Barnewall investigates the parables’ historical setting and invites readers to ponder their teachings in light of their own circumstances. She explains the puzzles in the parables as she develops their lessons on discipleship. This beautifully written exploration of the parables draws the reader to the feet of Jesus.” ―Lynn Cohick, provost and dean, professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
  5. Success is delighting in God! What is success? The world would have you embrace a particular definition. Even some teachings within Christendom might fall seriously short of the mark. What is the Biblical standard of success? Today's theme is success, its definition and application. Through her personal story and testimony, Stephanie invites you to embrace the most satisfying definition of success, and to apply it daily: You will measure success by the delight you take in God's glory! And when that becomes your quest, you are poised for a delightful, wildly successful life for the Kingdom. “God’s glory, our delight” is Stephanie’s motto and the beating heart of Gospel Spice Ministries, rooted in her personal encounter with God as a French teenage atheist. As believers, we face the daily challenge to ascribe glory where it belongs, and to delight in the process. What can we learn from Jesus to make His glory our true North and lifelong quest? How do we spice up our words to present them as a daily offering of delight to the glory of God? God sprinkles our stories with a dash of spice—and inimitable flair. Through her personal testimony and ever-growing devotion to Christ, Stephanie humbly invites you to delight in God’s glory today and every day.
  6. Dive into a comparison-free summer! Let's be honest today: do you look around and compare yourself to others? In other words, do you struggle with comparison? Do you feel shame because you compare to others and fall short? Who and what are you comparing yourself to? Are you trying to become the person you are comparing yourself to? And how is it working for you, really? What is the comparison ladder you are trying to climb? Physical appearance and body image? Career? Home status? Who are you trying to better? And, what does Jesus have to say to all these questions? Jesus does not place on us the burden and pressure of comparison, like we tend to. He has already finished all the work, and the finality of the cross is our reality to embrace. How do we then free ourselves from the pressure of comparison? We know the answer is Jesus, but seriously, how does that work? Today we are kicking off our Summer 2022 series with Stephanie's friend Heather Creekmore. They invite you to enter a comparison-free summer. Heather shares her struggle with comparison, and how toxic it was in her spiritual walk, and in every area of relationship. Heather's particular area of comparison was in body image -- she believed the lie that her life would be better if she looked a certain way. But comparison is something we can all be prone to, even if it is not body image (though, let's be honest - it is a problem many of us have, men and women both, regardless of what we actually look like!). As a man, do you feel you should look like Thor or Captain America to be accepted? As a woman, do you feel you should look like Wonder Woman to be loved? Does God care about our body image, our weight, our physical appearance? How can we honor Him in this area? Now, how about those of us who say, "I don't compare myself to others, but only to the ideal version of me." What does Heather have to say to that? She gives us a practical blueprint to overcome the toxic temptation of comparison. Heather says, "I spent two decades battling my body image. No matter how I changed my body, I couldn’t find contentment. I even became a fitness instructor thinking that would fix my body image issues. As a Christian, I knew that the Bible should have the answer, but I could never find it. I heard all the cliches, ‘I was fearfully and wonderfully made‘ and ‘It’s what’s on the inside that counts‘ but they never helped me. I still struggled with wanting more beauty." CONNECT WITH HEATHER CREEKMORE website: https://comparedtowho.me/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherCreekmoreblog/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/comparedtowho/ Twitter: @comparedtowho Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/comparedtowho/_created/ Her YouVersion reading plan "Compared to Who?": https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/29320-compared-to-who-a-10-day-plan-to-improvebody-image
  7. Defining appropriate glory for the human heart. Why are we wired to seek glory for ourselves? Stephanie suggests to you that we are wired by God Himself to seek glory because this reveals our deep longing for identity. And we will find and keep our identity when we make God’s opinion of us, namely His delight in us, the deepest root cause of our identity and glory. We all seek our worth – our weight, our glory – in the eyes of another. We are born looking for someone looking for us, as we have seen with our recent guests Curt Thompson and James Bryan Smith. We seek to be safe, seen, soothed and secure. Only God is SAFE when it comes to placing our glory within His hands. Only God is the rational logical choice – why seek your identity in the mirror-eyes of others when His eyes are available? Only God can soothe/satisfy our longing for glory eternally. His opinion beats all others in quality, accuracy, depth, and power to transform. Why settle for less? So, next time we are tempted to find glory (it can look like a search and a hunger for meaning, identity, fame, approval, love…) let's not go to our usual escape mechanisms, our indulgences of choice: social media, food, drink, shopping, addictions of any kind like porn or alcohol or drugs or gaming; let's not go first to our wife or husband or children or best friends. Go to God and wrestle through the unbelief until you remember the extent of the delight God takes in you. Say this to your heart: “God’s delight of me is the source of my glory.” "Yahweh your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy.” (Zephaniah 3:17, HCSB) Rejoicing. Gladness. Quietness. Love. Delight. Joy. That is literally how God feels about you. who are you to disagree with Him? If God doesn’t constantly think negative thoughts about you, why then should you? Stephanie offers practical questions to assess our hearts when we receive glory from another: does it please my Father? Is it in accord with my identity in Christ? Does it glorify God ultimately? What does it do to my heart and my intimacy with Jesus? Does it draw me closer from Him or further away? Finally, is this glory measured in the Kingdom of God, or in the world of man? Our legitimate, safe, appropriate glory is found in the delight God takes in us.
  8. The good and beautiful YOU | by James Bryan Smith Stephanie welcomes spiritual director, university professor and author James Bryan Smith to ponder the weight of God's love for us as His chosen creation. In his latest book, "The good and beautiful you" Jim invites us to peel back the layers of many lies we have commonly been fed in the church--about our worthlessness and predicament when our identity is primarily defined as "sinner." Jim likes to remind everyone - inlcuding himself - that Genesis 1 and 2 precede Genesis 3, and that grace and love precede sin and the fall! They discuss the difference between soul and self, and why the soul has such demanding needs. James tells us now the needs of our soul can be met in Christ alone. Jim describes ten things our soul cannot endure, and ten God-created longings. He says, "the soul is made to soar in trasncendance." Yet this is the furthest thing from self-help and narcissism! He invites us to "put to death our need ot establish our worth through what we accomplish." Who does not need to hear this in our generation of ever-hurried people? He talks of the sacredness of our God-bestowed body: "we cannot engage in a relationship with God apart from our bodies." Jim also talks about our deep-seated need to be wanted and desired. He says, "our identity is given by God - and it will find us! We don't have to search for significance; in Christ significance has found us." He prays and invites us to join him in asking the Lord, "O God help me believe the truth about myself, no matter how beautiful." Again, this is the furthest thing from narcissisim because it invites us to then consider every one around us in the same light - considering others as more important than ourselves, imitating Christ Jesus as Paul challenges us in Philippians 2. Jim says, "I am my own worst critic. I live under the tyranny of the ideal self." Anyone else can use a dose of truth against self-criticism? If God does not spend His days thinking negative thoughts about us, then why should we think those thoughts about ourselves - or others? Join Stephanie and James Bryan Smith for a profound and uplifting conversation about WHO YOU ARE IN GOD'S EYES. GOSPELSPICE AND IVPRESS GIFT TO YOU: GET 30% OFF AND FREE SHIPPING FOR "THE GOOD AND BEAUTIFUL YOU" only at ivpress.com by using the discount code SPICE22. This code is valid until July 4, 2022 - 2 weeks after the initial release of this episode. Enjoy this special gift! You can also watch the video of this episode on our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/gospelspice CONNECT WITH JAMES BRYAN SMITH website: https://jamesbryansmith.com/ the book, The Good and Beautiful You: https://www.ivpress.com/the-good-and-beautiful-you James Bryan Smith is the author of the Good and Beautiful Series which includes The Good and Beautiful God, The Good and Beautiful You, The Good and Beautiful Life, and The Good and Beautiful Community. He earned his MDiv at Yale and his DMin at Fuller and is a theology professor at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, where he also serves as the director of the Apprentice Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation. A founding member of Richard J. Foster's spiritual renewal ministry, Renovaré, Smith is an ordained United Methodist Church minister and has served in various capacities in local churches. He is the editor of A Spiritual Formation Workbook and Devotional Classics (with Richard Foster), and the author of Embracing the Love of God, Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven, Room of Marvels, The Magnificent Story, and The Magnificent Journey. Follow him on Twitter: @jamesbryansmith MORE ABOUT THE BOOK: GOSPELSPICE AND IVPRESS GIFT TO YOU: GET 30% OFF AND FREE SHIPPING FOR "THE GOOD AND BEAUTIFUL YOU" at ivpress.com by using the discount code SPICE22. This code is valid until July 4, 2022 - 2 weeks after the initial release of this episode. Enjoy this special gift! The Christian faith is not only about belief and practices, it is also about the kind of people that we become. Yet some of the biggest barriers to our transformation come from our toxic self-narratives. These narratives shape the way we see ourselves and the way we interact in the world. God designed us with a deep longing in our souls to be wanted, loved, alive, and connected to God. Healing our souls requires more than knowing what God thinks about us. Our healing comes not through reason alone, but through revelation. "The best practice I have seen in Christian spiritual formation" was Dallas Willard's endorsement of the Good and Beautiful series a decade ago. Now this fourth book in the series, The Good and Beautiful You, addresses the self-narratives that hinder spiritual growth and the desires of the soul that only God can satisfy. James Bryan Smith reminds us how Scripture reveals the beauty and goodness of our own souls and how we long for healing that only God can provide. Complete with spiritual practices that help us live into that reality, The Good and Beautiful You will serve as a welcome companion on your journey to discover who you truly are in Christ. The Good and Beautiful Series includes four essential discipleship books from James Bryan Smith. Work through these proven Bible study resources individually or with a group to learn who God is, what it means to be a Christian, how to live in community, and how to address toxic self-narratives that hinder spiritual growth. GOSPELSPICE AND IVPRESS GIFT TO YOU: GET 30% OFF AND FREE SHIPPING FOR "THE GOOD AND BEAUTIFUL YOU" at ivpress.com by using the discount code SPICE22. This code is valid until July 4, 2022 - 2 weeks after the initial release of this episode. Enjoy this special gift!
  9. Genuine, relentless humility is a life-long commitment. How can we actively develop humility in our spiritual life, the kind of genuine, precious humility that will put a smile on our Father's face? Genuine, relentless humility is a life-long commitment. Stephanie takes us on a journey to experience what has been called the "spiritual disciplines" in light of our quest to delight more in God. She quotes John Piper: “Now, THAT would be the greatest salvation imaginable—if God should offer us the greatest reality in the universe to enjoy, and then move in us to see to it that we could enjoy it with the greatest freedom and the greatest pleasure possible.” Truly, that’s all we need. Let this mindset seep deeply into your being, and it will bear fruit. Be relentlessly humble. Cultivate relentless humility. It’s the secret. It’s actually super easy, but it requires a lifetime of practice. Paul said, “by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” `1cor 15:10 That’s the balance: God does ALL the work—THROUGH us. We’re not in charge. We’re the car, He’s the driver. Yet He chooses to use this car. So, today we’re going to look at the other side of this "delight-in-God" coin: our participation. God invites us to participate even as He teaches us HOW to delight in Him. Join us to relentlessly develop genuine humility today. IMPORTANT NOTE - WE WILL SWITCH TO FRIDAYS AS OUR EPISODE RELEASE DAY, STARTING ON JULY 1 WITH EPISODE 156. Stay tuned every FRIDAY!!
  10. Pentecost + Father's Day Special For Father's Day, Stephanie welcomes NFL chaplain and Pastor Jonathan Evans for a no-nonsense conversation about our investment as parents for the Kingdom of God. With his trademark candid and bold kindness, Jonathan shares his approach to parenting, as well as what he learned from his parents, Lois and Dr Tony Evans. We discuss fatherhood in particular, but these principles apply to all forms of parenting and for everyone who ministers to children of all ages! So, parents, grandparents, family members and all youth leaders -- this episode will inspire you, challenge you, and help you remember how eternal your investment is! Jonathan shares, “God is calling you to go further, rise higher, and achieve more in His name than you could ever imagine. But you will never get to experience all that God has for you unless you are willing to rise up out of the depths of your own disappointments, get up off the couches of your own comfort zones, and pursue His plan for this season. Now.” Beyond parenting, Jonathan shades his quest for a deeper intimacy with God. He remembers living life on “cruise control,” comfortable where he was, following in the footsteps of his well-known and respected father (Dr. Tony Evans), until one day he realized he didn’t know his own role or purpose in life. Jonathan didn’t wait to figure it out; he took action and pursued what God had in store for him. His book, Your Time is Now urges us to get out of the “comfort” rut and do the same. Using the Old Testament leader Joshua as a model for stepping up to God’s calling, Jonathan invites us to stop living at surface level, dig deeper, and step into our callings now, no matter what obstacles stand in our way. “Now is the time for you to live out your purpose for God,” says Jonathan. “Not when you’re older. Not when you’ve settled down. Not when you feel like you’ve got nothing else to do…Now is your season.” In Your Time is Now, Jonathan invites us to shift our perspectives from an outward concern about what the world thinks, to an inward focus on the only One whose opinion really matters: God. No matter the season we find ourselves in or the challenges we face, Jonathan encourages us to stand on the truth that God can and will use us and this season for His purpose, if only we intentionally and actively pursue Him. If you missed our Mother's Day episode, we invite you to check out the phenomenally inspiring convo between Molly De Frank and Stephanie about how to digitally detox your kids! Jonathan discusses the importance of keeping our kids grounded in real life and away from screens, so take a listen to Episode 147 (Digital Detox for kids with Molly DeFrank) for practical tips. MEET JONATHAN EVANS Jonathan Evans is a pastor, speaker, mentor, and author who speaks passionately and powerfully about his relationship with God and has a burning desire to share his faith with others. He serves on the pastoral staff at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, a nondenominational church in Dallas, Texas, with his pastor, friend, and father, Dr. Tony Evans. Jonathan has roles in both the local church and in the national ministry, The Urban Alternative. Jonathan has a goal of building a legacy that leaves an impact. A dynamic speaker, he has shared at men’s conferences, youth events, churches, and other venues throughout the United States. Jonathan has also written several books, including Different, Get in the Game: A Spiritual Workout for Athletes (with Dr. Tony Evans), and Kingdom Family Devotional (with Dr. Tony Evans). Jonathan has also created powerful video and audio presentations to accompany his teaching, including spoken word videos that showcase his ability to deliver his messages with energy, creativity, and relevance. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jonathanblakeevans Insta: https://www.instagram.com/jonathanblakeevans/ https://jonathanblakeevans.com/
  11. Jesus' humility as the roadmap to glory. Episode 151 - Jesus' humility is the roadmap to glory. Stephanie humbly invites us to dive into the meaning and expression of humility in Jesus's life. It started even before His incarnation - when He left the beauty and perfection of heaven to come dwell on planet earth, with a human body, and for the express intent to die a horrific death, not only physically but mostly a spiritual death of separation from His heavenly Father. What love is this... and it is demonstrated in meekness and humility. So, since humility was so essential to Jesus, so must it be with us too! Except... it does not come to us naturally. So we look at delighting in God in the context of humility today. This is an in-depth look at the meaning of the cross, and how we are called to the ultimate beauty of surrendering our self-will to delight in glories unimaginable. Today is an invitation to see, maybe for the first time or at a deeper level, that a quest to delight in God is truly the most reasonable, and the most enthralling adventure that we are called upon. We look at what it means to "be in Christ," an expression that can be so overused, it is devoid of meaning. Yet, the key to delight in God in found in its meaning. What does it mean, truly, to "be in Christ"? We talk about the delight of surrender, and the surrender of delight. We invite you to insert Jesus in every practical aspect of your life, only to find He is already there. That is true delight. Join us!
  12. what does it mean to delight in God? Episode 150 - Why does it matter to delight in God? Why does God command us to delight in Him and enjoy Him forever? Doesn't that sound like the whinings of an egotistic tyrant, an insecure bully in search of affirmation, or a boastful narcissist? Stephanie invites us to discover the deeper meaning of delighting in God, and why it actually is the most logical, reasonable, and yes, delightful thing in the world. God is not human--it means He is the ultimate standard in all things beautiful and perfect and lovely and, yes, delightful. So, when He enjoins us to delight in Him, He is really inviting us to enjoy the ultimate best in all things. Doesn't sound so egotistic after all, does it? Jesus provides the perfect example for us--to absolutely no one's surprise! He role-models a life of perfect humility and delight in God. So we're taking a good look at delight in God as revealed in the light of the knowledge of the glory of God ... in the Face of Christ Jesus! That's one of the most foundational verses that Paul ever wrote, and it is one of our guides this week. "God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ." - 2 Corinthians 4:6, NIV.
  13. Practicing for heaven | our calling today Episode 149 – Curt Thompson joins Stephanie to share in the experience of delighting in the glory of God through our eponymous series. They discuss the role of beauty in our identity—its creation and our awareness of it. They discuss the importance of crushing in our lives—how beauty often needs to be pulverized in order to attain its purpose, and how spice often delivers its best flavors and fragrance when heated and crushed. They ponder the importance to taste and see that the Lord is good—how sensing precedes our making sense of what we are sensing, and the importance of the five senses in our relationship with God and with one another. They dive into the cultural nuances of our brain formation and our mind transformation. They talk about shame, and desire, and delight, and beauty Curt invites us to experience Psalm 27:4 through the lens of delight in the glory of God: One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. (NIV, Biblica) Finally, Curt invites us to “practice for heaven” and to discover what it means and how to train our hearts and minds to become ready for the indescribable beauty of delight in the glory of God for all of eternity. MEET CURT THOMPSON Curt Thompson (MD, Wright State University) is a board-certified psychiatrist and the founder of Being Known, an organization that develops resources for hope and healing at the intersection of neuroscience and Christian spiritual formation. He is also the author of The Soul of Shame, The Soul of Desire, and Anatomy of the Soul. Inspired by deep compassion for others and informed from a Christian perspective, psychiatrist Curt Thompson shares fresh insights and practical applications for developing more authentic relationships and fully experiencing our deepest longing: to be known. With a considerable dose of warmth (and surprising measure of humor), Curt weaves together an understanding of interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB) and a Christian view of what it means to be human — to educate and encourage others as they seek to fulfill their intrinsic desire to feel known, valued and connected. He understands that deep, authentic relationships are essential to experiencing a healthier, more purposeful life — but the only way to realize this is to begin telling our stories more truly. Curt’s unique insights about how the brain affects and processes relationships help people discover a fresh perspective and practical applications to foster healthy and vibrant lives, allowing them to get unstuck and move toward the next beautiful thing they’re being called to make. Through his workshops, speaking engagements, books, organizational consulting, private clinical practice and other platforms, he helps people process their longings, grief, identity, purpose, perspective of God and perspective of humanity, inviting them to engage more authentically with their own stories and their relationships. Only then can they can feel truly known and connected and live into the meaningful reality they desire to create. Thompson is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and his main focus of clinical and research interest has been the integration of psychiatry, its associated disciplines, and Christian spiritual formation. He is actively engaged in learning and teaching as he supervises clinical employees and facilitates ongoing education groups for patients and colleagues. He also speaks frequently on the topic at workshops, conferences, and retreats. Serving as an elder at Washington Community Fellowship in Washington, DC, his duties have included preaching, teaching, and participation in the fellowship's healing prayer ministry. He and his wife, Phyllis, a licensed clinical social worker, are the parents of two children and reside in Arlington, Virginia. Website CurtThompsonMD Podcast. Being Known Podcast InstaGram CurtThompsonMD Facebook @CurtThompsonMD Twitter @Curt_ThompsonMD BOOK: The Soul of Desire We are people of desire. In The Soul of Desire, psychiatrist Curt Thompson suggests that underneath all our longings is the desire to be known—and what's more, that this fundamental yearning manifests itself in our deep need to make things of beauty, revealing who we are to others. Desire and beauty go hand in hand. But both our craving to be known and our ability to create beauty have been marred by trauma and shame, collapsing our imagination for what God has for us and blinding us to the possibility that beauty could ever emerge from our ashes. Drawing on his work in interpersonal neurobiology and clinical practice, Thompson presents a powerful picture of the capacity of the believing community to reshape our imaginations, hold our desires and griefs together, and invite us into the beauty of God’s presence. The Soul of Desire is a mature, creative work, weaving together neuroscience and spiritual formation to open up new horizons for thinking not only about the nature of the mind, but about what it means to be human. REVIEWS "Curt Thompson's The Soul of Desire is a superb example of the integration of theology, psychology, psychiatry, and neurobiology on an applied level. The wisdom he shares penetrates powerfully as it emerges in the lives and stories of real people in safe and transformative communities. Within a few pages, I was eager to reread this book, and I have already begun it again. My guess is many of Thompson's readers will do likewise—desiring, as I do, to live into its depth of insights and practices." Mark Labberton, president of Fuller Theological Seminary "In this timely and necessary book, Curt Thompson gently and with great compassion leads us away from the idea that we are 'problems to be solved or broken objects to be repaired.' He reminds us that the original blessing proclaims that we are all created as beloved children of God for the purpose of working with God toward a new creation. By the time I read the last sentence I felt the freedom to embrace what I long for, to reimagine beauty, and to be part of a community created for the purpose of naming my desires, sharing my grief, and doing the work of transformation. And then, I read it again!" Suzanne Stabile, author of The Path Between Us and The Journey Toward Wholeness "The Soul of Desire is a feast of new creation hope. Weaving together wisdom from Scripture, insights from neurobiology, and stories of broken lives incrementally made whole, Curt Thompson offers much-needed guidance to those beset by grief, trauma, and shame. His daring proposal is that beauty isn't a luxury but a necessity for our healing, and that this transformative beauty is best encountered and created in the context of vulnerable community. As a pastor, I'm eager to see this profound, even heavenly vision unleashed upon the church. As a person seeking to overcome trauma and shame myself, I'm deeply grateful for Curt's compassion for hurting people and his unmistakable love for the God of beauty to whom this book ultimately points." Duke Kwon, lead pastor of Grace Meridian Hill and coauthor of Reparations: A Christian Call for Repentance and Repair "Pick up this book and read it slowly. The Soul of Desire will help you uncover the ways you've built up walls around the deeper places in your soul. With Curt's help, you will see firsthand what beauty can do for the human heart." Jennie Allen, author of Get Out of Your Head and founder and visionary of IF:Gathering "Reading this wonderful, deep, and engaging book helped me to see and understand the deep longing I have always felt in my soul as God's factory-equipped desire for beauty, and ultimately for God. Dr. Thompson is once again a doctor of our souls, but in this book his prescription for our healing is to gaze upon, and to make, beauty. Beauty is captivating, and this book captivated me—because it is a beautiful book. I highly recommend you read it, not once but over and over again. This book will no doubt shape many conversations about the care and cure for our souls." James Bryan Smith, author of The Good and Beautiful God "Everything Curt writes is life changing for me, and The Soul of Desire is no different. He connects the dots between science and faith through the lens of beauty and relationships. Further, the more you understand why you long for intimacy, the more empowered you become to receive it. We were never meant to live alone. You'll love this empowering book!" Rebekah Lyons, author of Rhythms of Renewal and You Are Free "There's something profoundly disarming and inviting about the way Curt writes The Soul of Desire. In its pages we encounter the mind of a biblical scholar, the wisdom of a psychiatrist, and the heart of a pastor. Drawing on sweeping biblical narratives, deeply tender stories of the human experience, and yes, neuroscience, Curt reminds us that even in a broken world we are people of desire with a longing to be deeply known. He boldly declares that beauty is integral for our healing, our transformation, and our flourishing, then shares—testifies!—on the power of a vulnerable community in earthing these realities in our everyday lives. I closed this book challenged, changed, and in awe of God's beauty." Jo Saxton, speaker, leadership coach, and author of Ready to Rise "Curt's latest book is really his most hopeful book, a challenge to cultivate the kind of imagination and embodied practice that shifts us from brokenness to beauty. But it's as much Curt's character as it is his wisdom that draws me to this. A remarkable life, a remarkable book!" Chuck DeGroat, professor of pastoral care and Christian spirituality at Western Theological Seminary, senior fellow at Newbigin House of Studies "Curt Thompson has a keen eye for seeing beauty in the ashes. He's convinced me that beauty is an essential criterion for truth, a path into deep-level healing, and a sign of transformation. I'm grateful for his uncanny ability to integrate these insights as he walks clients and readers from alienation to belonging and community. Masterful!" Bradley Jersak, dean of theology and culture at St. Stephen's University, New Brunswick "What if the glory of God can be revealed in our places of shame? And what if we say yes to the generative work of creating beauty, even in our broken relationships? In The Soul of Desire, Curt Thompson names our fears, taps our deepest longings, and engages our imagination, inviting us to consider how beauty emerges from places of trauma and how God works through authentic and vulnerable community to make all things new. This is a timely, inspiring, and beautiful book." Sharon Garlough Brown, author of Shades of Light and the Sensible Shoes series "Curt Thompson's previous work on shame has been life-transforming for numerous readers. Here he continues his interdisciplinary exploration of one of the elemental human experiences that founds our sense of self—the desire to see and to share beauty. Disarmingly self-disclosing, deeply in touch with Scripture and classic Christian sources, and engagingly conversant with the advances and insights of current neuroscientific research, this book beckons us to a deeper, healing knowledge of ourselves and, ultimately, of God." Wesley Hill, associate professor of New Testament at Western Theological Seminary "The Soul of Desire by Curt Thompson is a deep and edifying book that emphasizes that we are people created with a fundamental desire or longing for beauty, goodness, and truth related to healing and wholeness. He helps us to take time to dwell, gaze, and inquire of the Lord to fulfill our desire for beauty in the context of community, as well as sharing our grief and suffering, preparing and practicing for heaven to come. Highly recommended!" Siang-Yang Tan, senior professor of clinical psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary and author of Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Christian Perspective "'An artist and a psychiatrist get into a car . . . ' sounds like the start of a joke, yet this is actually how I met Curt Thompson. And as unlikely a pairing as we appear on paper, The Soul of Desire seems like an equally absurd mash-up of ideas. But I am happy to say that we became fast friends, and this book, too, turns out to be a wonderfully balanced amalgamation of neuroscience, aesthetics, and Christian faith. Allow this book to help you let go of shame, put yourself in the path of oncoming beauty, and begin imagining that life can be lived as an expression of God's artistry." Ned Bustard, author and illustrator of Saint Nicholas the Giftgiver and creative director for Square Halo Books "In his previous books, The Soul of Shame and Anatomy of the Soul, Curt Thompson integrated neuroscience and theology seamlessly, cheering us on in a hopeful, unhurried journey toward healing. In Curt's new book, The Soul of Desire, he brings it all back to the start, setting us right in the path of God's beauty. With the skillfulness of a therapist and the earnestness of an evangelist, Curt Thompson implores us to see how God desires for us to create beauty in the context of confessional community—that our lives would be authentically generative, like works of art." Sandra McCracken, singer-songwriter and author of Send Out Your Light "I am drawn to Curt Thompson because, like our Creator, he accounts for and carefully tends to the whole person in his work. With the wisdom of a master therapist and the heart of a well-formed disciple, Curt helps us see how our God-given desire can enrich our community and lead us deeper into the heart of Christ. If you are looking for a trustworthy guide to mentor and guide you along this life-giving path, I cannot recommend The Soul of Desire more highly to you." Scott Sauls, senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church and author of Jesus Outside the Lines "Curt Thompson is a master of integrating themes that invite us to a place of deeper connection with God, ourselves, others, and the world around us. The combination of his expertise in interpersonal neurobiology, his therapeutic work with groups and individuals, and his passion for the beauty of the gospel brings a fresh gaze to the topics of desire, longing, and healing. It's a perfect companion piece to The Soul of Shame." Jill Phillips, singer-songwriter "In The Soul of Desire, Curt Thompson shares a profound and uplifting message about what makes beauty simultaneously spiritual and human. This wonderful book will enrich the faith of readers as they seek meaning and purpose in the turmoil of life." Arthur C. Brooks, professor at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School, author of Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt "This is an extraordinary testimony to the power of beauty in a broken and fragmented world. It is extraordinary not simply because of its unusually direct and winsome style, but because of what the author brings to his theme: a professional expertise in neurobiology. More than a testimony, it is also an invitation: to have our deepest desire set alight, our desire for the One from whom all beauty springs." Jeremy Begbie, Duke University "Curt Thompson's The Soul of Desire is a book full of beauty and delight that reveals the secrets of healing and tending to wounded souls. This is a remarkable book that weaves biblical narrative together with neurobiological insight and the arts to help us pursue answers to the profound questions of desire. With a disarming wit and sobering honesty, Thompson grapples with weighty truths, all the while grounding his integration in the redemptive work of a risen Savior. The author skillfully and tenderly walks the reader through stories—biblical, clinical, and poetic—that reawaken our sense of grief, revealing the imprints of trauma that have distorted and corrupted desire. He invites us to learn what is at play in our bodies, spirits, and relationships through the context of what he calls 'confessional communities.' A confessional community 'creates a space in which we gather to name our desires, lament our griefs and traumas—all acts of prayer—and out of them become outposts of beauty and new creation in the other domains of our lives.' Thompson is hoping not simply to awaken our minds but also our creative spirits as we hunger for the dawning of a new creation. At the heart of this book he desires that we come to know the G-d who deeply knows us: the one who would soothe us and redeem the stories we've been living and co-creating. This book will inspire you to risk desire, that your life can become a thing of beauty and goodness, even from what is a story of grief and despair." J. Derek McNeil, president and provost of the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology
  14. The greatest quest of life. Episode 148 - We are so excited to welcome you to our new series, God's Glory, Our Delight. Now, this sentence. It means a lot, and especially to Stephanie because it has been her own personal motto and spiritual quest for years. So, really, this is an invitation to ponder the deeper life. We are convinced that there is no greater quest in life, and that no adventure can give you deeper meaning. We believe we will spend all of eternity, in utmost bliss, learning to delight in God in ever-deepening levels. So, identifying this quest as our most essential one, and then stepping into it with everything we've got, and then learning from one another, growing ever deeper into the wonder of this quest--THAT is, quite literally, practicing for heaven. Delighting in God is developing our spiritual muscles to practice for the reality of heaven. Nothing can be more important for each one of us as an individual spiritual quest, but also for the body of believers as a corporate endeavor. It encompasses worship, prayer, Bible reading and study and memorization, fasting and feasting, service, and all the spiritual disciplines. It is the ultimate expression of loving the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and soul and spirit, and loving your neighbor as yourself. It is the meaning of life. It is the great quest. God's Glory, Our Delight. Nothing could be more important, and nothing could be more practical today.
  15. True freedom from digital addictions for kids and parents Episode 147 - Are you concerned your children might be addicted to digital media? How can you know proper boundaries, and how can you weather a total digital detox without losing your mind in the process? How can you restore your children to the fullness of childhood--games and puzzles and twigs and fireflies and hide-and-seek--without losing sanity in the process? Molly DeFrank joins Stephanie for this special Mother's Day episode to talk about just that. And it's for dads, and grandparents, and aunts and uncles too! Molly is currently a stay-at-home mom of six beautiful little ones, aged 2 to 11. She has experienced the stress and fatigue and mood swings and temper tantrums that inevitably accompanied the words "screen time is up!" And she has crafted, through personal experience and through coaching many families, the solution that every modern parent has been desperately wishign for: the complete guide to digital detox in two weeks. It's not easy, she says, but it is simple. And efficient. It will reclaim your family life, and will poise you to become a steward of the beautiful children the Lord has entrusted into your care. Molly says, "As if parenthood didn’t bring enough stress on its own, moms and dads in 2022 are drowning in digital distractions up to our eyeballs. And if we don’t take a moment to clarify the role we want tech to play in our homes, it will continue to seep in and monopolize. It will steal the moments, days and years meant for connecting with, training and forming our kids’ hearts and worldviews. The quiet lulls, connective meals, and mellow drive times that filled our own childhoods are long gone. They’ve been displaced by digital entertainment. Parents are having fewer conversations with their kids, whose beautiful saucer-eyes now staring at tablets instead of their loving caregiver." She says, "I know because I shrugged off the nudges for years before I finally said “no more.” And as soon as we detoxed our own kids, everything changed. Since then, I’ve coached several families through their own digital detox journeys. Every single one witnessed transformation. Every single family’s results exceeded their expectations." With her trademark sense of humor, this California mom adds, "A LOT of people call me mom. I spaced my kids so close together that the hospital’s labor and delivery department gave me a punch card for a free sandwich. Then we also added several darlings via foster care—some for a day, some forever. We’ve parented lots of kids from all backgrounds. We’ve navigated kids through therapy, broken limbs, recovering from abuse. We’ve housed kids between juvenile hall stays. We’ve overseen autism therapy and high-honors students...." So, join Molly and Stephanie this week on the show--we promise you will leave with fresh hope and a renewed sense that you can take charge of your children's screen time with simplicity. MEET MOLLY DEFRANK: "In early parenthood, I was certain about many things. Like how I would never homeschool, listen to Kids Bop, or drive a minivan. A decade-plus later, I have blasted Kids Bop while driving my children to the homeschool coop—in my minivan. God lovingly used motherhood to show me the end of my rope, and how deeply I need strength outside of myself. Parenting is life’s best lesson in humility. And for especially thick heads like mine, God gives you many children in quick succession, then a few bonus kids for good measure. I enjoy black coffee strong enough to power a small jet, reading instead of cleaning, time spent across a table with friends, and eating any food that’s prepared impeccably. I’m also a recovering vegetarian. Send help, send tofu, drop me a line here on Facebook or Instagram. " https://mollydefrank.com/ Facebook: Molly DeFrank Instagram: @mollydefrank BUY DIGITAL DETOX: Book: Digital Detox: The Two-Week Tech Reset for Kids

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