I like messages that are clear and yet complex all at the same time. When I open a book or lend my ear to hear a sermon, I want to walk away knowing exactly what the teacher’s point was while still having to ponder and contemplate and weigh the thoughts they shared.
That’s how I feel after learning from Jennie Allen. She’s a deep thinker. Yet somehow she’s practical and plain – breaking down mind bending equations to their simple parts.
The first time I encountered Jennie she was just a face on the back cover of a book. I held her Bible study resource in my hand and admired the title and the cover design – simple, clean, inviting, bold. The book was called “Stuck“. She has a penchant for one-word titles (Anything. Restless). They draw you in and then wrap you up in full and robust insights that change your life forever.
That’s what Jennie is all about. Life change. She believes in the power of God and His Word to do just that. And she and her husband have devoted their lives to being used by the Lord to impact as many people as they can. They are beautiful people.
So, get to know Jennie. Her blog post below is a great place to start.
Enjoy it. I certainly have 🙂
Face in my hands. Elbows on the table. My husband was sitting across the table at our lovely unsuspecting Italian restaurant, he pushed in close but I didn’t have words to define the tears hitting the table. He knew. More than 2 years ago we prayed a prayer and it’s repercussions were everywhere.
“God – we will do anything.”
Our anythings…. seem to be costing us everything. Nothing about our previously sane lives are the same. In the last year we have given up all control and God has taken us up on those simple naive little words.
Since we prayed, God led us to adopt a 3 and a half year old little boy from Rwanda making us a family of 6, sell our house, merge our church, turn over leadership and our roles and write/ live 3 projects in the last year for publication and that isn’t all…. so we are tired and empty.
Ironically, I was leaving the next day to interview for a book that was honestly the cause of all of it…Anything. And yet I couldn’t remember why we were doing any of it… I was so tired and unsure of myself and worst of all, God felt far far away.
As my husband pushed in, he whispered, “It’s been a hard year.” And strangely it was comforting to admit that following God was hard.
…but would I take it back?
God’s very existence demands these words… if we find ourselves at the feet of a God who made us and then set us in our space on this planet for a few days that He spoke into being, what other life are we to lead than the one He wrote for us. And if it costs us everything, comfort and approval and control and easy…for a little while?
Jesus did this…. He lived all in and sold out, with one foot in heaven and one on this earth. And with eternity clear in His mind He said,
“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” John 6:38
The implications of knowing His Father was simply to obey Him.
So the implications for us are the same, keep our heads down and listen and do what He says, even if it leads to crying over our pasta sometimes.
And He will probably say things like…
“Give the lunch that you just got from the Chick-fil-a drive-thru, to the woman with the cardboard sign outside your car window.”
“Ease up on your kids – I am not this hard on you – and I am God.”
“Get rid of what you don’t need and don’t keep chasing stuff, because you won’t be here long.”
“Encourage and remind each other that I am real and, and that I’m worth it. I promise.”
“Come back to me everyday. I’m really here. I really see you.”
We aren’t going to take it back…I would rather have nights that hurt than disobey. And underneath all the hard, is a life that I wouldn’t trade anyway. I love my anythings…. even the hardest ones.