I'm usually pretty enthusiastic about the wonderful people our Guesting Department brings my way, but I excitedly highlighted Tuesday, July 14 on my calendar with the name, Rachael Crabb. It will be her first visit to 100 Huntley Street! The author and ministry consultant is married to my favourite Christian psychologist, Dr. Larry Crabb, who provides the Foreword and Afterword to her new book.
LISTEN IN - Building Faith and Friendship Through Conversations That Matter, invites us into Rachael's conversations with two friends, Sonya Reeder and Diana Calvin as they ‘lock arms to face the past' and ‘search for and find the truth and beauty in one another'. Authentic Christian community is God's design. It has been seriously compromised in our high tech, high speed, culture of the individual, where image management too often takes the place of authentic living. The societal cry for connection is being increasingly sounded.
On Wednesday, July 8th, Christin Taylor appeals to viewers about "finding and being good company". Her latest book is CREW—Finding Community When Your Dreams Crash. Having worked for years with college students, Christin knows that personal shipwreck is a familiar experience in the life of young adults—missing out on a dream job, a broken relationship, the loss of a loved one, a crisis of faith—all can assault their identity and lead to a derailment. Finding a reliable "crew" of supportive believers can help one navigate through life's transitions at every age and stage.
You may be "emotionally allergic to small talk", longing for richly nuanced conversations that can help you discover inner beauty in your story and actually redeem locust-eaten years of your life. I've seen this miracle take place so many times! I've also experienced the defensive lock-down when hearts are threatened by unwelcome probing into past hurts and unresolved chapters of life. Tragically, things that happened to us in childhood shape how we feel about ourselves, and how we relate to others as adults.
Rachael believes ‘each of us hides a core terror.' Your heart will be moved as she exposes the events that stole her voice and allowed a crime against her innocence. But ‘conversations that truly matter' become "a catalyst that dispels long-held beliefs that are not true, putting pieces of an intricate life puzzle together in a way that brings revelation and growth, sparking a fresh vision for her life."
Dr. Larry Crabb has helped the women highlight FIVE KEY INGREDIENTS that produce ‘conversations that matter'. This is the psychotherapist who boldly stated:
"The power to meaningfully change lives depends not on advice, but on connecting—on bringing two people into an experience of shared life."
Science and Scripture agree: we are all wired to connect.
Believers are called to be "ministers of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:18), reaching out to those who are spiritually lost, with the offer of peace with God, but also helping our brothers and sisters in Christ toward wholeness, completeness, and the peace of God.
As a new Christian, I was laser-focused on those outside the Kingdom, who didn't know the Lord. However, God's Word quickly balanced things out for me: Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:10 NIV)
The New Testament alone contains 43 "one another"(s), emphasizing the importance of Body life. Notice the prescription for healing in the following verse: Confess your offenses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective. (James 5:16 WEB)
If we will take courage and risk giving more of ourselves away as we listen and share deeply, we will find our voice as God-empowered change agents, lessening the power of fear and shame and establishing a life-transforming community.
On a plaque above the door of a charming tea room in Williams Lake, British Columbia I recorded this inspiring challenge, which I've discovered was penned by an unnamed 17th century nun:
"Dear God, Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people, and give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so."
Feel like having a heart to heart?