“There’s pattern that James has built into these verses which we can see if we look closely, which we might describe like this: When thisseemingly bad thing happens, God will give you thisgood thing out of it if you’re “listening” with trust. This is more than “everything happens for a reason” philosophy. This is a kind of crazy trust in God that leads to an attentiveness to Him withinespecially our most challenging situations. It’s a trust that says, ‘Whether God caused this situation or just allowed it, I know He is here with me and loves me and I am going to listen for the blessing He is speaking to me through it.’ This kind of listening to God through our circumstances almost never has anything to do with attaining ‘your best life now’ and almost always has something to do with becoming your best self over time—which is ‘a kind of first fruits of all He created.'”
Dear Pleasant Woman on the Hotel Shuttle Returning Home to Seattle Yesterday Morning,
When I told you I had been to your fair city before, I was not lying–I actually spent four or five days there in 2012. So I apologize that immediately after telling you that, I proceeded to describe the time I visited Portland, by mistake. I do know the difference. Usually.
When you are staying in a hotel suite on someone else’s dime, and you are sautéing vegetables, and you like them to be a little charred for the sake of caramelisation…
…don’t forget that you are not at home and, should the smoke detector in your room go off, you will likely have two entities, both the hotel and the people who are paying for you to be there, if not also the fire department and some irritated fellow-guests, to answer to.
I was going to leave you all imagining that this actually happened, but it only almost did. That’s because I’m a pro at Jenn Stories by now. And so here is my tip. You’re welcome.
“One day, Church, we will see Jesus face to face with nothing between us, and ironically that’s when we’ll be fully transformed into His mirror image. That’s when we will know Him and love Him with the complete and fulfilled love that He has always had for us.”
This is a “family meeting” sort of sermon, and unfortunately our usual sound recorder was not available this Sunday. This left Pastor Jenn with the quandary of whether to leave this sermon off the podcast altogether, due to its congregation-specific nature, to upload a very echo-y and not always easy to understand recording from an iPhone which was positioned behind the speakers, or to re-record herself simply reading the sermon at a later date.
Although the sound quality is terrible, the option to share the live recording has been chosen, because the sermon itself is important to the life of our church, and something of the message will be lost in an after-the-fact read-through. That said, while as usual anyone is welcome to listen (or try to listen) to this message, if Central Baptist Church is not your home congregation, this one may be less apropos to you, and as it’s kind of a lot of work to understand what’s being said in some spots, you may quite understandably wish to excuse yourself from this “episode”! On the other hand, if Central Baptist is your home church, a listen is probably worth the effort.
Long-time blog- and real-life-friend, Jeff, currently doing some great work over at the Faith-ing Project. He’s got some books on Amazon, too, so it was really nice of him to take the time to go over to the Favored One page and say this:
Also, even longer-time friend, and I guess you could say international, friend, Jayne Bazeley, messaged me over the weekend and said,
Hi Jenn! I just finished Favored One. I saved it until I got back from Summer Camp so that I could really enjoy it. Which I did, very much. Using the proper Hebrew names for people and places helped to see the familiar story with fresh eyes. C.S.Lewis would have approved Really really good. Thank you.
Thank you, Jayne.
You can also help with the reviews. And if you’re anywhere close to local, I hope you’ll come to the Sanctuary at Woodville on 28 September for my book launch/signing. Excerpts, Q&A, and books. With me writing my name in them. Christmas is coming, and a book about Mary the mother of Jesus might be just the right gift.