Conversation, Jesus, and Vulnerable Enough to Be Wrong

I could sit and talk with my husband about Jesus, grace, or the struggles of life for hours.

Do you have anyone like that in your life?

I think we all need at least one person we can spontaneously talk to about Scripture, about life.

Not to get all the theology right. Not with an agenda. Not to fill in our Bible study books, but to just talk.

I do love that my husband can answer my questions, find me good resources, and correct my rash heretical moments. Don’t get me wrong, being married to a pastor has its perks.

I love him more though, because he is safe.

I love him because he loves Jesus.

I love him because he listens and shares and dreams and puts a manly spin on the world that I would miss otherwise. I love him because he is vulnerable enough not to know it all, but desires to go deeper and learn more, every time.

It’s important to have places and people in our life we can be wrong with. We need people to wander around conversation with. People who can point out our issues, not because they want to be right, rather because you’re having a discussion and that’s what discussion looks like – a volley, a banter, an opening of minds and hearts.

The best part about doing this around the Bible is that the Bible is always right! The Bible holds Truth in Love in perfection, so we have somewhere to go to figure this life out…together.

What would life look like without genuine discussion?

Boring.

Sad.

Ranting.

Unsafe.

Really, many, many spaces and places we find ourselves today.

So, Dave and I invite you into our Scripture conversation in two short and thought-provoking episodes connected to the I Love My Shepherd and Grafted Heart Advent series –

Above All Names

If you like it, we’re happy to produce more and have you join our conversations. Give us a shout out, a review, or tell us in the comments what you think this Advent as you listen.

Look for the first of the two episodes this Thursday –

Above All Names: Old Testament

And the second on December 7th –

Above All Names: New Testament

Here are all the links you need for the Advent series:

Above All Names Advent Devotion PDF
Above All Names Printable Images
Above All Names Advent Reading and Writing Plan

Remember, all the devos and podcasts can be found right here on ilovemyshepherd.com and graftedheart.com each day of Advent! Subscribe to the blog to get them in your inbox each day. The Podcast can be found on the Podcast Page, iTunes, or Stitcher as they are released.

Who can you be vulnerable with enough to be wrong sometimes, to have real and meaningful discussion, to share a moment of safety in a crazy unsafe world?

A Chasing Freedom Bonus: Connection

Connection is important.

In fact, we know from research that connection is one of our most basic needs.

As children of God, in a family of God, we may already know this, but the scientific community is uncovering amazing research that (not shockingly) supports the way God designed us from the beginning.

Here’s two of my favorite TedTalks about connection the impact of connection on our lives:

Johann Hari TedTalk: Connection’s impact on addiction

Brene Brown TedTalk: Vulnerability and Human Connection

We need connection like rain needs drops and bagels need cream cheese, no even more than that. We were made to connect to God, and also people.

In Genesis, God walked with Adam and Eve, and we crave that kind of connection to Him, whether we know it or not. In Christ, we are free to draw near to God once again and we wait for eternity for all the singing and dancing with Him face to face.

At the creation of the New Testament church we see connection revealed even deeper- one body, one baptism, one Lord. This is more than nice ideas. It’s a way of life. We reach others with hope by – you’ve got it – connecting with them, friendship, care, fighting against isolation and the lie that it’s easier on our own.

So, this fall, with our online Bible study Chasing Freedom, we’re going to add a layer of connection we haven’t had before. A connection challenge, if you will.
We’re partnering with the Dear 52 Project and the talented Anna Noble, to offer a free downloadable mini-set of Dear 52 cards.

There will be one card for each week of study. You print it and you send it to someone. Here are some samples to get you excited:

Connection. It’s that easy.

Who in your life could use a handwritten note that says,

“I thought of you.”

“I’m praying for you.”

“It’s been awhile. How have you been? ”

“Hey, we’re talking about freedom in this Bible study and I just really appreciate that you let me be myself.”

Two lines, four lines, or a small journal entry…no matter the length of the letter, the connection is created; friendships, relationships, or family care and concern grows and encouragement builds up.

Here’s all the Chasing Freedom components, pick and choose what works for you:

  • six easy-to-read weeks of study, to connect you to our God and His great love for you
  • a card, each week, to connect you with someone who also needs to know that they are treasured and loved. It’s a beautiful thing
  • Thursday night Facebook Live studies to connect us to one another
  • Fridays and Saturdays – there will be Chasing Freedom podcasts for those of you who are audio people, and to hear a voice sharing freedom rather than words on a page

Stretching our hearts wider for Christ and those He puts in our path…together.

Find the cards and the study, beginning September 18th, right here, at ilovemyshepherd.com.

I’m Done Chasing Freedom: Sign Me Up

Most days, around 5 o’clock, I want to strangle life.

I do perfectly fine from 7am-4pm. 4pm starts to get a little dicey, and then 5pm…

I’m hungry, I’m tired, and, more than any of that, I’m emotional.

For 38 years of this life, I have struggled to reign in my emotions. It’s better than it was, but I want more.

I want freedom.

Emotions are my yoke. I walk through my life, secure in the knowledge of God’s great love for me, Christ’s unmitigated sacrifice for me, and the Holy Spirit’s counsel and care for me. However, I so often look around me at the world and pick up my yoke of emotions, heaving it on to my back, and then I let it push me until my face is in the dirt. Why?

It’s painful and it’s unnecessary.

But there’s good news for me, and for you:

We’re invited to stop chasing freedom.

Galatians 5:1 blasted through my life when I was a new mom, a new pastor’s wife, in a new location, and wanting anything but the life I had:

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (NIV)

God values freedom. He values my freedom. He values your freedom. He values it so much that He gave His Son and sent His Spirit. He knows my heart better than anyone and still loves me.

He knows I’ll pick up that yoke.

So, He writes freedom across the pages of my Bible again and again to help me see it as reality. It’s there, He’s there, every time I’ve picked that yoke back up.

I’m no longer chasing and I’m no longer chased by my emotions, the scars of the past, my own brokenness, the expectations of this world, my sadness, my loneliness, people’s rules, my idols…all of it. I’m throwing off that yoke, every day.

This is God’s work in me.

This is freedom, in His Word and with His people.

Will you join me? Will you join us?

Let’s stop chasing freedom together. Let’s stand in the proclamation of all He’s done for us. Let’s stand in freedom won for us.

Chasing Freedom: A Study of Galatians is a 6-Week online Bible study, right here at ilovemyshepherd.com.

It can be done on your own. It can be done in a group. It can be done on the go. You can join in one day a week, or read a study post five days a week, or anything in between. You’ll never be behind, just join in when you can, read old posts if you’d like, share with friends online easily if a post speaks to you.

Here’s how it works:

Chasing Freedom is a 6 week study starting September 18 thru October 27th.

There are 4 posts a week, Monday- Thursday.

Thursday nights you can join in the week’s Facebook Live Study with women around the country on the I Love My Shepherd Facebook page, at 8pm CST or catch the video archive, when you can, on the I Love My Shepherd YouTube channel, linked right here every Friday morning.

Look for some Chasing Freedom extras to be revealed soon too, free downloadables and visual faith tools, as well as Young Adult and podcast extras.

Ready to sign up?

Subscribe to I Love My Shepherd by email, found at the top right side of your screen or at the bottom of the page on your mobile device. The study will come directly to your email inbox! If you are already subscribed to the blog, leave us a friendly comment below so we know you’re joining us and we can celebrate. 

Invite one friend or many friends to join you by sharing. The Word is so much more full when studying and finding insights together.

Embracing Freedom, around the Word, together.

Let’s do it. Are you in?