Andy Miller III
Cover Image for Out of Chaos with Jessica LaGrone

Out of Chaos with Jessica LaGrone

June 9, 2022

It was a real treat to have Jessica LaGrone on the podcast today to talk about her new book, Out of Chaos: How God Makes New Things Out of the Broken Pieces of Life. In it she explores the beauty that God can bring out of the chaotic state of our lives and our world. Jessica is the Dean of the Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. She enjoys mentoring and multiplying as she serves as pastor to a vibrant seminary community. She is an acclaimed pastor, teacher, speaker, and writer whose engaging communication style endears her to groups throughout the United States.

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Welcome to the more to the story podcast I am so glad that you have come along.

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Andy Miller III: There are several things that are happening here that we want to make sure you know about one, I want to make sure you know that we are offering this free resources five steps.

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Andy Miller III: To deeper teaching and preaching and it's a free eight page PDF document that's available to people if you sign up for my email list and i've included.

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Andy Miller III: A 45 minute video teaching that goes along with that, so the idea is like to help people think about how they get into scripture but then how they think about the end goal, how they proclaim that or how they teach that so.

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Andy Miller III: I think you'll find it helpful if you can go to my website Andy Miller, the third calm and sign up for my email list i'll send that to you for free.

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Andy Miller III: And I want to thank our sponsors for making this podcast happen wp oh development, they are a group that help people feasibility studies and capital campaigns ministry groups all over the country.

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Andy Miller III: i've worked with him in the past they're incredibly helpful, so you can check them out at wp oh development.

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Andy Miller III: And you can just Google them, you can find links in the show notes here also this podcast is brought to you by Wesley biblical seminary where I work and I serve as Vice President for academic affairs.

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Andy Miller III: We are in our summer session getting ready for the fall, where we are, training and developing trusted leaders for faithful churches, we have a variety of options.

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Andy Miller III: We actually have a bachelor's degree in pastoral ministry, we have them lay initiative to Wesley institutions have nine month program to learn about every book of the Bible, then we also have.

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Andy Miller III: Our masters of arts master divinity doctorate of ministry degrees, so we would love for you to think about Wesley biblical seminary if you want to go deeper in your faith so go to web

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Andy Miller III: Alright, this is a great day, because I have wanted to have this guest on for a long time JESSICA grown, welcome to more story podcast.

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Jessica LaGrone: Thanks Andy it's really, really great to finally be here with you.

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Andy Miller III: So JESSICA serves as in case you don't know her, I was like I don't know if I know your formal job but i'm going to say Chaplin but maybe it's director of spiritual life and all kinds of things as very small you tell us your official title JESSICA.

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Jessica LaGrone: sure you know, academic institutions love you know the formality so i'm dean of the Chapel at asbury seminar i've been here for eight years.

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Andy Miller III: Okay, and those of you don't know of JESSICA i'm really glad to introduce her to you.

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Andy Miller III: she's written several books she's an outstanding preacher and Jessica we I don't know you five you and i've ever talked about this, we missed each other in seminary, but it seems like we were both deeply influenced by ellsworth callous.

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Andy Miller III: yeah and i've heard, I heard you speak at his memorial service and i've listened to you preach many times and so thankful for your preaching.

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Andy Miller III: And I do I do here, I don't know if people would say that were similar but I hear that similar kind of callous influence in your life so so tell me a little bit about your relationship with Dr callous.

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Jessica LaGrone: yeah that that's such a sweet point in my life and my training here at asbury I.

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Jessica LaGrone: I I sort of stepped out and sent him an email early in my seminary career and asked him if I could get into one of his classes, before I really had the credits to qualify.

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Jessica LaGrone: yeah and I I closed that email with this just really bold you know you can tell you're in your 20s when you send emails like this, I said I think you'd really like having me in class instead of I think i'd really like having your class.

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Jessica LaGrone: You know, and he.

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Jessica LaGrone: Later, he said, I was so intrigued by that I had to find out if it was true so I ended up you know, in an intro class with him really discovering my love for preaching and then I ended up taking multiple directed studies, with him, and then working for him and.

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Jessica LaGrone: just got involved was like sitting in his office and hearing his wisdom, so I really had several years and then, when I returned, as various dean of Chapel he was still living and really what his mentoring it's part of the reason I ended up back here.

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Jessica LaGrone: hey was a powerful figure and everybody who knew him felt like he personally cared for them, he just had that kind of ability to take care personally for everyone around him.

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Andy Miller III: Oh man, it was probably the best class most transformative class I ever took and then I took I didn't Like you, I did a few independent studies.

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Andy Miller III: with him as well.

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Andy Miller III: And it was just so that he was one of the first people to encourage me to write he encouraged me to think differently about my vocation, I remember like.

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Andy Miller III: You know, there was a couple of good strong critiques that he gave me that I I hold to this day, but also like the.

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Andy Miller III: You know there's this clear mommy like after your first message in front of somebody like that's that it's like a different relationship you enter into, and I can remember the compliments he gave me in those moments and.

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Andy Miller III: i'm just incredibly thankful for the way that he that he engaged me, even though we didn't have we had no interaction.

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Andy Miller III: Until I got to say we didn't have a relationship before I got into this class and i've kept every letter every email that he wrote to me and I go back to him when I need some encouragement along the way.

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Jessica LaGrone: Right and then you think how can I be a person like that for.

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Andy Miller III: All I know it.

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Jessica LaGrone: How can I make my words mean so much for others, because he had such a gift of that.

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Andy Miller III: So I love I love hearing that influence and yeah I feel like that's kind of like made me.

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Andy Miller III: more attuned to some other things that you're producing even you're writing to, and so you had a couple books that came out through admitting and now you have a book that we're going to talk about today, but maybe i'm getting ahead of myself.

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Andy Miller III: Why don't you just tell us a little bit about your experience, so we know you went to seminary and now you're in the dean of Chapel but what happened in in between that what would you.

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Andy Miller III: Would you do, then.

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Jessica LaGrone: Sure, so i'm ordained in the United Methodist church and that's why I came to asbury I felt called to into pastoral ministry and came here to be a pastor left here to be a pastor and pestered in churches in the Houston Texas area for 13 years.

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Jessica LaGrone: Some medium sized churches and then the last pastured I was in was a one of the largest united Methodist churches, the woodlands Methodist church.

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Joe yeah.

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Jessica LaGrone: So really had a wonderful time I love I love pastoral ministry I love blessing people walking with them through their lives really thought that that's what I would do till I retired and.

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Jessica LaGrone: asbury called when I was 13 years into pastoral ministry and said, you know, would you like to come back as dean of Chapel.

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Jessica LaGrone: I had only known there'd only been men in this roll up to that point and.

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Jessica LaGrone: I think that was sort of an exciting time for asbury to so look for their you know at their first female dean of Chapel.

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Jessica LaGrone: I have enjoyed being back so much in a way, it is exactly what pastoral ministry, is it is worship planning pastoral care walking with people in their discipleship it's just that I have what I say is the best congregation on the face of the earth right so.

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Jessica LaGrone: seminary students those.

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Jessica LaGrone: Those who are entering different ministries, you know this so well.

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Jessica LaGrone: are so life, giving to work with because they're just excited and they're hungry to to learn and to be formed for ministry in life.

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Jessica LaGrone: I get to work with their families with faculty so it's a pastoral role that i'm in and so i'm thankful for that, because that's really how God shaped me in the first place.

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Andy Miller III: Right, you know in pastoral ministry like a similar story to you I serve local Churches for 15 years before entering on to theological education and I always appreciate the fact that people were voluntarily coming to church like.

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Andy Miller III: Nobody was forcing them.

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Andy Miller III: The same time like there's something unique in the seminary Community where people are paying to come.

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Andy Miller III: Like they really want to be there.

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Andy Miller III: it's I taught a preaching class this past year to preaching classes and then even in our chapels and that kind of thing I mean not only are they like they're choosing to be there, but they really want what you're having opportunity and graduate education to is it's a little different.

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Andy Miller III: Every now and then maybe an undergraduate and we see this, and some of our programs do that.

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Andy Miller III: Well, this is just what you have to do in our society, but I love that and I always am so thankful for the type of things that the Community and the vibrancy of St Chapel and so yeah you are in a special place to be able to lead that.

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Jessica LaGrone: it's a fun place to Minister and and people absolutely the classroom is the Center of why people are here and the credits they get.

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Jessica LaGrone: But I think the longer people are here, the more they realize Oh, the life outside the classroom is really God is using that to form people to.

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Jessica LaGrone: And you know you, you want both the life of the mind and the life of the heart head and heart to come together and where people are you want people form for ministry in both ways.

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Jessica LaGrone: So I mean I love being part of that.

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Andy Miller III: Yes, now you mentioned being in the United Methodist church and before we get into talk about your book, since I know that you've been in custom key rooms kind of like you've been in the room where it's happened.

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Andy Miller III: A few times and.

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Andy Miller III: i'm sorry I couldn't hold back it just came to my mind.

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Andy Miller III: So i'm curious, like some of my listeners like we've had Keith boy at the podcast mark Julie, I TIM tenant and we've talked about some of these methods things in the past, united Methodist.

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Andy Miller III: not concerned with what's going on but we're we're recording this on may 18 so just 18 days ago, the global Methodist church launch there's been a lot, could you give us an update with what's going on with.

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Andy Miller III: The global Methodist church and where things are.

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Jessica LaGrone: So the global Methodist church really planning and formation has been in the works for a while, I think, as people have realized, you know we i've been sort of in these rooms for.

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Jessica LaGrone: For quite some time, so I can I can remember rooms, where we were asking questions about what was going to happen within the United Methodist church and whether as.

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Jessica LaGrone: A group that was trying to lead for reform and revival in the Church, whether we were going to be leading or leaving right.

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Jessica LaGrone: And that distinction that that question is gone on, I.

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Jessica LaGrone: People have been asking a question longer than i've been alive, you know what what's the best course for leadership here, are we going to transform this thing.

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Jessica LaGrone: Or do we need to take a step out and form something else, so the global Methodist churches, the the fruit of that conversation is people saying you know, I see a vibrant future for methodism and there there's quite a.

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Jessica LaGrone: movement within the United Methodist church, a lot of our top leadership has moved away from following our book of discipline and doctrines and so really this this new.

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Jessica LaGrone: This new form of denomination the global Methodist Church is taking our doctrine and discipline and saying no we we love this.

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Jessica LaGrone: amen we want to stick to this we aren't leaving the Church, the Church is in fact that denomination is left us behind in.

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Andy Miller III: Yes, yes.

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Jessica LaGrone: So the GMC which love love the acronym right get you a GMC truck and drive it advertised and began may 1 we do have some clergy some churches that have already.

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Jessica LaGrone: stepped over and are part of the GMC there's an entire annual conference in Bulgaria that voted unanimously to join us.

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Jessica LaGrone: First Annual Conference is global, you know I love that it's beginning outside the US and having met some of the leadership there that's really exciting, so that the heart is to be.

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Jessica LaGrone: You know, one that loves the historic doctrine of methodism but form something new, a new container really to bring it and god's reform to the world.

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Andy Miller III: yeah I love that and that those things are really helpful and it's not just a kind of a talking point sort of line like you're leading not leaving i've said, with a even a change in my own life like.

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Jessica LaGrone: i'm not.

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Andy Miller III: I didn't i'm no longer a Salvation Army officer, but I wasn't just running from the Salvation Army, but I was running to what God was calling me to, and I think that's what's happened.

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Andy Miller III: In the United Methodist church like you have there's a there's a beautiful theology tradition that that has been a part of the witness of methods, and I say when we say methodism I think it's helpful to like methodism not as just united Methodist.

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Jessica LaGrone: Right.

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Jessica LaGrone: Of course we have so much bigger.

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Andy Miller III: Right, I mean I consider myself a Methodist.

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Andy Miller III: Even though i've never been united Methodist or primitive Methodist or free.

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Andy Miller III: Methodist so i'm in that tradition and there's a lot to celebrate there, so what a great moment this is for for you personally i'm sure, but also just for a for an opportunity to shape something new kind of.

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Andy Miller III: dream about the future i'm what are you excited about.

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Andy Miller III: With the emerging this emerging denomination.

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Jessica LaGrone: it's it has been so fun so i'm actually serving on the transitional leadership Council which is.

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Jessica LaGrone: The body in place that's guiding this until we can get to a founding Conference, where you know there's a democratic vote across these representatives that form the Church, so this is the group that's really.

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Jessica LaGrone: figuring out there are some things that need to stay the same, that have been the same forever, but there's also this energy around wow forming something new, what are the.

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Jessica LaGrone: What are the parts of this that have really worked for us okay let's keep those, what are the parts of this that gosh if we could dream up how they could work better.

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Jessica LaGrone: And that dreaming is so exciting, so I love, and this is true of you know, the wesleyan tradition in general, this is this is john and Charles Wesley all over again.

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Jessica LaGrone: What do we love about the historic church never change it love it love this picture love you know just double down on jesus's words and following them that kind of thing.

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Jessica LaGrone: Now, what are the forms in which we can communicate that in new and exciting ways, so you know I I serve here at the seminary in this place where i'm hearing the wisdom of faculty members who have been longing for this for decades.

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Jessica LaGrone: and saying this is, this is the time, this is the time we've been waiting for and excited about and then, at the same time, students who are new and fresh coming to this saying we're longing for a church where the majority of our work is just around conflict.

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Jessica LaGrone: And that's been true for a while now, you know a lot of our denominational work has just been trying to unite people whose theology is not united.

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Jessica LaGrone: So thinking about the ministry the mission, the movement that we can do as we sort of step out into a new era is really beautiful and exciting.

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Andy Miller III: I love it that when I think of I won't get the scripture verse right and I could pull up my Bible in first Peter to just before you get to a line that says, like you know be holy because i'm holy there's this moment where peter's St.

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Andy Miller III: St to have gone before Old Testament type of folks long to look at what you're looking at.

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Andy Miller III: I can't think of the again I don't have it, but you might know what i'm talking people might know i'm talking about.

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Andy Miller III: But it's like they long to be in this digital now, and in that context and original kind of probably referring to fact that like look they were waiting for Jesus to come, like so we're not saying i'm not comparing that.

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Andy Miller III: Jesus has already come, but think of the generations of people who have have long for this moment, so this is our my encouragement to the GMC folks, this is it you know we're praying for you as you anticipate what this new denomination is okay one more question on that.

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Andy Miller III: What is one of those forms.

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Andy Miller III: That you're hoping, a new for new ways to express the church that you're in I know it's not decided yet, but that you think will change.

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Jessica LaGrone: mm hmm I think the way that we relate in mission, and you know as a as a Salvation Army, you know it's one of our brothers in that tradition you'll appreciate this so.

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Jessica LaGrone: The the way that we've done mission has become over the years, pretty institutionalized in terms of.

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Jessica LaGrone: The funding has come from the top so churches have just sent them money to the top and counted on them to to vet missionary send missionaries take care of missionaries and i've seen how local Churches have really lacked a personal contact with.

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Jessica LaGrone: Now Methodist all over the board and in every you know means of this sort of family love mission love sending love evangelism.

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Jessica LaGrone: But i've seen churches that have become sort of anemic in their understanding of just how important this is.

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Jessica LaGrone: Because it's really just been another dollar sent to the bureaucracy being sent out, and I think the way that the global Methodist church envisions this has a much more personal aspect for local local Churches, to be involved.

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Jessica LaGrone: For them to be directly in contact directly, you know, supporting sending all of that, I think, will will really breathe new life back into missions amen instead of removing that from the local church.

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Jessica LaGrone: In a way, that you know conforms it to some bureaucracy, it really brings you know you know just the personal love of like hearing missionaries talk about their work and their calling and wanting to say I get to be part of that.

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Jessica LaGrone: I think that that will be that global connection will be restored in a way, and i'm so excited about that.

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Andy Miller III: When I had Keith boyd on.

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Andy Miller III: is interesting that's actually my number one podcast I think it got picked up by.

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Andy Miller III: YouTube just like when people is a simple title united methodism what's going on and.

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Andy Miller III: Maybe it was my title, but the key thing.

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Andy Miller III: In came in and one of the things that was interesting to me I kind of I don't know if I quite.

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Andy Miller III: can't think of another word, except for twinkle in his eye he got pretty excited at this moment, when he said I just envisioned as also like global missions, but also going into communities where there hasn't been an evangelical Wesley a Methodist presence like.

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Andy Miller III: Just stereotyping here for Steve like portland or Seattle, maybe there are evangelical Methodist church or forgive me if i'm not no.

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Andy Miller III: No, no, that.

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Jessica LaGrone: Anything west of the Rockies.

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Jessica LaGrone: I mean to say is really a.

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Jessica LaGrone: Both a desert for evangelical methodism but churches are being planted there that are thriving you know.

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Jessica LaGrone: When we're in contact you know we don't stay in the lane of our own denominations, we hear all kinds of great stories in great churches and pastors so.

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Jessica LaGrone: i'm excited too, because I think people are longing and I think I you and I both will be on board with wessling ISM has something really special for this age in terms of offering people you know the grace that begins right where they are, but transforms them.

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Jessica LaGrone: And restores the image of God, you know Westland ISM has such a gift and a deposit from the ages.

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Jessica LaGrone: And I think people are going to be hungry for that that's been really blocked in by our bureaucracy in the past in terms of bringing that witness to certain areas of the country and now it's just this is no longer a desert it's a farm waiting to be planted.

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Andy Miller III: You know, oh man, what a great line JESSICA, maybe, maybe you already wrote that one out, but if not, we need to write that line there.

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Jessica LaGrone: i'll try to remember that.

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Andy Miller III: Or we could go back and listen to it that's great, and I think that's what we're experiencing it with both our institutions asbury obviously it has years of growth wps has set doubled in size in the last four years, I don't know if you know that.

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Jessica LaGrone: No that's wonderful.

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Andy Miller III: So it comes with this like fierce commitment to the tenets of wesleyan ISM and, like our name Wesley biblical seminary now some people would think that we're narrow.

00:19:55.590 --> 00:20:07.050
Andy Miller III: it's true we are narrow we believe in the authority of scripture and the other real possibility of transformation and sanctification in this life so like yes like i'm sorry that's who we are, but what's that what's that lead to is its lead to.

00:20:07.470 --> 00:20:15.390
Andy Miller III: Growth it's like the opportunity to serve more people, and I think, as we if we become more bland or if we try to kind of like make everybody happy on every side.

00:20:15.720 --> 00:20:22.110
Andy Miller III: We end up losing distinctive and so that's been part of our what's made us successful so i'm hopeful that as.

00:20:22.770 --> 00:20:31.050
Andy Miller III: Whatever expressions this take like I know people might not even know, like the Association of Independent methodists a very small denomination that's in this region.

00:20:31.410 --> 00:20:38.790
Andy Miller III: They have a church planting initiative and every year they're planting churches they're growing and same thing to know is going to happen for the GMC.

00:20:39.570 --> 00:20:50.670
Jessica LaGrone: We love it and, and you know I love you and I both have this seat and theological education, where we get to look out over multiple denominations really working for the Kingdom in concert with each other.

00:20:50.940 --> 00:21:00.540
Jessica LaGrone: it's a beautiful thing and so not feeling that sense of like my way is the right way, my my family's the only family but I love the pan Wesley and family.

00:21:00.570 --> 00:21:04.410
Jessica LaGrone: Were and encouraging each other, I really appreciate you saying that.

00:21:05.070 --> 00:21:12.090
Andy Miller III: yeah well, maybe this is connected a bit to your book I don't want to read too much into it, but the title and I love the fact that this is a new.

00:21:13.200 --> 00:21:16.980
Andy Miller III: Effort that's in concert with zondervan and seedbed coming together partnering.

00:21:17.760 --> 00:21:18.510
Andy Miller III: This gets.

00:21:18.540 --> 00:21:25.680
Andy Miller III: some kind of this pan Wesley movement, a little bit more into the broader evangelical world.

00:21:26.010 --> 00:21:34.350
Andy Miller III: Which isn't necessarily the goal, but I think there's a voice that you have and i'm thankful for it, that needs to be heard in those fears.

00:21:34.620 --> 00:21:49.230
Andy Miller III: But the title of your book, maybe is connected to even what you're experiencing out of chaos how God makes new things from the broken pieces of life so tell me what is it that led you to this this book and this concept.

00:21:49.290 --> 00:21:50.490
Andy Miller III: Talking about chaos.

00:21:50.640 --> 00:21:55.710
Jessica LaGrone: I love it so you know so many people have looked at me and just have, why did you want to write a book about chaos.

00:21:55.770 --> 00:21:56.070
Jessica LaGrone: And the.

00:21:56.280 --> 00:21:58.080
Jessica LaGrone: answer is, I didn't.

00:21:58.260 --> 00:21:59.310
Andy Miller III: I didn't want to.

00:21:59.850 --> 00:22:14.760
Jessica LaGrone: I felt like I had to I feel almost compelled that's what calling feels like right you feel compelled to something that originally did not feel like your own idea and chaos, it just started popping up everywhere God speaks to me through repetition a lot.

00:22:15.930 --> 00:22:21.660
Jessica LaGrone: Where would you see things over and over and see God working or pointing things out to your life Lord is that you would.

00:22:21.870 --> 00:22:30.180
Jessica LaGrone: What is that Why do I just keep hearing this so I you know, probably around 2017 18 really started just noticing.

00:22:30.630 --> 00:22:41.370
Jessica LaGrone: chaos in people's personal stories in biblical stories right in the places in the Bible that chaos has transformed and then also.

00:22:42.090 --> 00:22:55.170
Jessica LaGrone: Globally, and that of course escalated I I was really putting the bones of this book together and I had met with seedbed and zondervan folks at you know I know you and I both love the new room conference.

00:22:55.680 --> 00:23:10.170
Jessica LaGrone: For a couple of years leading up to it 2018 2019 just conversations, what would this book be like here's some of my outlines, but I kid you not the the contract for this book came through in March of 2020.

00:23:10.740 --> 00:23:11.160
Jessica LaGrone: That is.

00:23:11.370 --> 00:23:21.000
Jessica LaGrone: That is when the book became an official thing in the world, and I thought yeah we, we need a book about chaos, because the world was suddenly just consumed with chaos.

00:23:21.210 --> 00:23:38.430
Jessica LaGrone: wow for me I I really entered a lot of conversations with people i'm an investigator, by nature, I like to research and ask questions, so I would just ask random people like tell me about the chaos in your life and that you know, makes me fun at parties right like.

00:23:38.490 --> 00:23:38.940
Andy Miller III: that's a.

00:23:39.150 --> 00:23:47.250
Jessica LaGrone: station that most people aren't looking to start, but I will I will tell you this like no one ever said to me, I don't know what you're talking about.

00:23:48.930 --> 00:23:57.420
Jessica LaGrone: To a person, if you ask people is there chaos in your life every person will without blinking say absolutely yes.

00:23:57.840 --> 00:24:10.470
Jessica LaGrone: And I never had anyone say there's no chaos here, what are you, what do you mean so we all have just that normal small drip of chaos like on a daily basis, the things that are.

00:24:10.800 --> 00:24:24.510
Jessica LaGrone: are hard to like we try to plan our lives and things get in the way even of our daily lives, even the small things like if you have kids trying to get them out the door in the morning, oh no there's one shoe missing our our whole day is thrown off.

00:24:25.650 --> 00:24:37.890
Jessica LaGrone: But also just relying on things not things to work and things stop working in our lives, whether it's appliances or cars or things about our own bodies are our relationships.

00:24:38.550 --> 00:24:53.040
Jessica LaGrone: Chaos gets in the way so everybody has some some irritant coming into their daily lives that's really just working at them in a way that makes life, not the way they hoped it would go.

00:24:53.850 --> 00:24:54.990
Jessica LaGrone: And then you've got.

00:24:55.170 --> 00:25:04.710
Jessica LaGrone: Global chaos right, so the pandemic definitely putting I had the I had the bones of the book together the outline the stories.

00:25:05.070 --> 00:25:14.460
Jessica LaGrone: And then coven and just saying oh man, the whole world has there ever been an event, where the whole world really encountered all at once.

00:25:15.210 --> 00:25:24.090
Jessica LaGrone: The same kind of need to just totally transform to shut down, and in that I was so shocked by what that looked like for people because.

00:25:24.540 --> 00:25:38.430
Jessica LaGrone: We normally think about chaos is too much right chaos is like oh i'm overwhelmed there's too much going on, and I really think the pandemic showed this chaos of the lack of things.

00:25:38.610 --> 00:25:49.920
Jessica LaGrone: Lack of yeah lack of events, the lack of boundaries, the lack of the milestones that we count on the lack of personal contact with people, so it was almost the chaos of absence.

00:25:50.280 --> 00:26:01.080
Jessica LaGrone: wow um and that to me connected a lot to creation, you know when, God creates and and genesis one two is really where this book comes from.

00:26:01.710 --> 00:26:08.070
Jessica LaGrone: The earth is dark and formless and the spirit hovers over the surface of the deep.

00:26:08.460 --> 00:26:21.270
Jessica LaGrone: there's God is creating into nothing but it's a nothing that is a chaos of nothing right it's formless that nothingness God has to speak life in order and light into that.

00:26:22.200 --> 00:26:40.740
Jessica LaGrone: Because God God comes and makes new things out of chaos, so in a way that lack that absence was sort of a longing in us for new creation, I think we we needed relationships we needed contact, we needed milestones and then just watching the world rebuild that has been fascinating.

00:26:41.400 --> 00:26:48.270
Andy Miller III: Yes, interesting so like normally people would not think of chaos being connected to downtime.

00:26:48.750 --> 00:26:55.500
Andy Miller III: Right yeah well interesting thing you mentioned like for immediately my thoughts go to the fact that.

00:26:56.370 --> 00:27:07.170
Andy Miller III: We are generally in a place where we think if I could just get through this chaos right if I could just get I just need another week another day.

00:27:08.070 --> 00:27:17.790
Andy Miller III: Once my kids get out of diapers once this once I get the dissertation done once I have this book project once i'm finally get the work done, I mean what what's the danger in that.

00:27:19.110 --> 00:27:30.840
Jessica LaGrone: You know I think for me coven dispelled, a lot of that because, even just the thought of like you know if I ever get a week at home, I will clean out the basement absolutely did not have.

00:27:31.200 --> 00:27:35.160
Jessica LaGrone: Oh yeah i'm dispelled all of those untruths about.

00:27:35.520 --> 00:27:43.830
Jessica LaGrone: You know I think and do a lot of it is about us thinking that our external circumstances are where all the chaos is located.

00:27:44.340 --> 00:27:54.360
Jessica LaGrone: If I could get beyond my external circumstances, then chaos will go away, I could, if I could just shape these circumstances, and so a lot of our prayer lives.

00:27:54.630 --> 00:28:05.910
Jessica LaGrone: Are around circumstantial settings where we say Lord, if you would just shape this chaos differently in my circumstances, then, then I might you know we have sort of an answer to that.

00:28:06.480 --> 00:28:15.630
Jessica LaGrone: The truth is that chaos is in us as much as it is around us and there's a sense in which even prayer reveals that to us, because if you if you can.

00:28:15.960 --> 00:28:23.550
Jessica LaGrone: find time to be quiet in prayer to sit down and silence the chaos around you enough to say or it or This is our time.

00:28:24.180 --> 00:28:33.210
Jessica LaGrone: What immediately happens is the chaos within you takes over and begins to you know the noise inside your brain can be louder than the noise outside you know.

00:28:33.960 --> 00:28:43.770
Jessica LaGrone: So it is not all in our circumstances our circumstances certainly shape us, but you know I think about you and I have a common mentor and Christine pole.

00:28:44.160 --> 00:28:52.980
Jessica LaGrone: Who talks about contentment a lot that is one of her core messages and I think that message on contentment is.

00:28:53.550 --> 00:29:06.780
Jessica LaGrone: You know, there is no waiting for external circumstances to change if you look at jesus's life and ministry he's just moving from one chaotic place to another, and yet he brings peace and calm.

00:29:06.840 --> 00:29:07.590

00:29:08.610 --> 00:29:19.320
Jessica LaGrone: You know what one thing I love about Jesus in the chaos is there are so many circumstances around him so leprosy right they believed it was so contagious you couldn't even touch it.

00:29:19.830 --> 00:29:28.860
Jessica LaGrone: And yet here's Jesus move straight into the chaos puts his hand on it and says no my healing is more contagious than this brokenness.

00:29:29.160 --> 00:29:45.210
Jessica LaGrone: wow so Jesus is showing if you're waiting for your circumstances to change you're going to wait forever right, but if you can bring God into those circumstances that transforming power can actually be more contagious than the chaotic brokenness that's there.

00:29:45.570 --> 00:29:55.770
Andy Miller III: So the chaos in itself, then becomes something that became like a knowledge is existence, but at the same time there's something better, more beautiful.

00:29:55.950 --> 00:29:57.420
Andy Miller III: That can can take over.

00:29:57.720 --> 00:30:07.320
Andy Miller III: yeah what is that so it's kind of like not there's probably an acknowledgement of chaos, but then there's the response to it, I know that that's a section of your book I don't know if i'm getting ahead of you.

00:30:07.560 --> 00:30:14.370
Andy Miller III: But like let's say the thought like is that is that what we do is like just come up with responses that are healthy.

00:30:14.580 --> 00:30:19.170
Andy Miller III: ways to deal with it, or can it ever go away, I mean is, it is always going to be there.

00:30:19.800 --> 00:30:22.470
Jessica LaGrone: I think it's absolutely being transformed.

00:30:22.530 --> 00:30:22.830
Andy Miller III: Right.

00:30:23.280 --> 00:30:31.020
Jessica LaGrone: From glory to glory right we we are being shaped and our circumstances are being shaped we can absolutely pray for God to stop chaos to.

00:30:31.350 --> 00:30:37.920
Jessica LaGrone: to heal you know physical brokenness to change relational circumstances we are absolutely agents.

00:30:38.340 --> 00:30:47.400
Jessica LaGrone: Have calm and order and peace, where we asked God to we're not saying Lord you've given up on this world is just going to be chaotic until new creation.

00:30:47.940 --> 00:30:59.490
Jessica LaGrone: I think God puts us here as agents of order and light and which are the three words that he that creation really brings about out of that chaos order and light and fullness.

00:31:00.540 --> 00:31:06.120
Jessica LaGrone: We are agents of that and seeing God at work in that now, on the other hand, we.

00:31:06.810 --> 00:31:14.220
Jessica LaGrone: You know, we want to see it transformed but they're also they're alive Stat I wanted to be sharing this book that I did not imply.

00:31:14.730 --> 00:31:24.390
Jessica LaGrone: That there was some formula or prayer or here's three steps and you want, you know we've all read books like that we've thought oh Lord I wish life works that way.

00:31:24.750 --> 00:31:27.000
Jessica LaGrone: Right one of one of the chapters is really.

00:31:27.510 --> 00:31:33.480
Jessica LaGrone: dedicated to around the story of a good friend who is the mother of a special needs child.

00:31:34.260 --> 00:31:46.530
Jessica LaGrone: Now they're chaos it's it's lovely is this love and life forming chaos into order on a daily basis, and then they wake up the next day, and do it again.

00:31:47.460 --> 00:31:50.730
Jessica LaGrone: And they're going to wake up the next day, and do it again for a lifetime.

00:31:51.300 --> 00:32:11.040
Jessica LaGrone: And just the sense of how you know this child's body is shaped and formed means they have a lot more to work on in the world than most of us do on a daily basis and I don't want people like that to hear that they have been exempted from god's grace or love or transformation.

00:32:11.250 --> 00:32:14.610
Jessica LaGrone: What transformation looks like in those circumstances is often.

00:32:15.150 --> 00:32:17.910
Jessica LaGrone: You know it's almost like Jesus in the boat in the storm.

00:32:18.210 --> 00:32:30.720
Jessica LaGrone: yeah you may be in the storm, but he he's in the boat right so sometimes the storm gets called but sometimes you're just riding the waves and I there, there are so many families so many relationships that.

00:32:31.530 --> 00:32:35.730
Jessica LaGrone: are going to ride the waves that are going to be a reality.

00:32:36.720 --> 00:32:47.970
Jessica LaGrone: So what does God do with that he moves in he comes in, with you, he can hold you in that form, you in that shape you in that, so I you know, there is both the God is ordering and shaping.

00:32:48.570 --> 00:33:01.980
Jessica LaGrone: Especially of our own souls of our our renewal into his image and there's also the sense of like gosh if you if you're going to go through it, you know, this is what the incarnation means is Jesus says, I want to be in the boat to.

00:33:02.340 --> 00:33:03.840
Jessica LaGrone: you're going to go through it, let me.

00:33:04.500 --> 00:33:11.730
Andy Miller III: amen I think it's interesting to think about chaos is being connected to the reality of evil or suffering.

00:33:12.420 --> 00:33:25.560
Andy Miller III: theodicy in general, a kind of technical way we think of that that is that what suffering is it a kind of an expression of chaos and he hear you say the story of your friend, you know when we're confronted with these situations where you think oh.

00:33:25.980 --> 00:33:30.900
Andy Miller III: it's just not fair i'm often reminded of the fact that, like God steps in.

00:33:31.230 --> 00:33:39.450
Andy Miller III: In the midst of things that are are suffering evil like things are really bad, but yet that the idea is like not just that he.

00:33:39.720 --> 00:33:50.160
Andy Miller III: He didn't just create that situation, but in the midst of it, he can master it he can like you can take our challenges and shift them in a way that fit in with his bigger plan.

00:33:50.370 --> 00:33:56.100
Andy Miller III: To me, did you did this book force you to think about the existence of evil, the existence of suffering.

00:33:56.310 --> 00:34:01.620
Jessica LaGrone: Yes, very, very much because honestly when you ask people, those questions where do you see chaos in your life.

00:34:02.340 --> 00:34:09.480
Jessica LaGrone: You might get like a you know I didn't make it to the grocery store today and I don't know what i'm gonna eat for dinner, and you might get a cancer diagnosis.

00:34:10.200 --> 00:34:20.160
Jessica LaGrone: You might get a generational issue that people are are born into they don't know how to solve, you might get a pandemic, you might get.

00:34:20.880 --> 00:34:29.820
Jessica LaGrone: There, the problem of evil is very real and and very personal to people it manifests itself in very personal personal ways.

00:34:30.240 --> 00:34:38.970
Jessica LaGrone: I think something that's helped me over the years I don't know if you remember this classic old book called the will of God by Leslie whether it's your teacher ever read that.

00:34:39.090 --> 00:34:39.750
Andy Miller III: i'm sorry.

00:34:40.320 --> 00:34:51.900
Jessica LaGrone: It is it is old, but it is so relevant so helpful, so you know Leslie, whether at this pastor I believe was British and talked about like God.

00:34:52.260 --> 00:35:02.670
Jessica LaGrone: there's the way God wants the world to go there's god's intentional original will, and we see it in in genesis and then there's you know, the way that the world breaks down.

00:35:03.120 --> 00:35:12.060
Jessica LaGrone: But God doesn't abandon it so God has a circumstantial will he moves into those circumstances and blesses and helps with that and then God has an ultimate will.

00:35:12.420 --> 00:35:28.290
Jessica LaGrone: And he's moving the whole world towards this new creation ultimate that's been so helpful for me in talking with families and with folks who struggle with you know just terrible circumstances that we would all say Lord why.

00:35:28.500 --> 00:35:38.280
Jessica LaGrone: Right right right because it's very damaging when people imply either just under the surface or outright that God wants.

00:35:38.790 --> 00:35:47.790
Jessica LaGrone: suffering that God wills those actions in people's lives that are so damaging it really damages people's ability to trust God and so helping them shape that in like a.

00:35:48.120 --> 00:35:56.880
Jessica LaGrone: You know what what what is god's intentions and then can God shaped can God work in these circumstances is God working for good ultimately.

00:35:57.690 --> 00:36:11.580
Jessica LaGrone: Is the end going to look like Eden, is the moving back towards new creation where creation was the original standard some of that sometimes you're in a moment, where you cannot wrestle with all of that, because it's just too close to.

00:36:11.580 --> 00:36:12.630
Andy Miller III: buyers right right.

00:36:12.870 --> 00:36:23.340
Jessica LaGrone: For people who are wrestling long term I think that's really helpful to think about you know what that he doesn't desire for any of this little ones to perish it says, you know.

00:36:23.370 --> 00:36:26.370
Jessica LaGrone: He does he does not will evil for us.

00:36:27.480 --> 00:36:30.990
Andy Miller III: yeah i'm sorry if there's a little bit of feedback here from my end but we'll lose keep going.

00:36:31.590 --> 00:36:41.310
Andy Miller III: This such a helpful thought in pastoral situation it doesn't ever seem to be the right thing to say to people well don't worry there's the esca time is coming like it's it was all.

00:36:41.640 --> 00:36:51.990
Andy Miller III: Like there's not a great pastoral response that moment, but like you said, in the long term, this is the like the direction of where the world is going like we could not.

00:36:52.320 --> 00:37:01.680
Andy Miller III: Even thinking now like we're dealing with the reality currently as you were recording this the the horrors of what's happening in the Ukraine with.

00:37:02.520 --> 00:37:17.820
Andy Miller III: A result of like the conflict that's a war that's been thrust on them and injustice evil, I mean to innocent people is coming, the reality of abortion exists no I keep I think I get innocent people who are all these things are absolutely horrible.

00:37:18.840 --> 00:37:20.610
Andy Miller III: At the same time it's not the end.

00:37:21.030 --> 00:37:25.290
Andy Miller III: This is not the end for them and we rest on the fact that God will ultimately bring.

00:37:25.620 --> 00:37:41.550
Andy Miller III: judgment and justice and establish the world in a beautiful new reality that is beyond anything that we can imagine now so like I do lean in on that and, like that here's a question JESSICA, will the chaos end in a new creation.

00:37:41.940 --> 00:37:55.230
Jessica LaGrone: hmm I you know you got to look at revelation for that right like you're being given a picture and so when one of the images the metaphors that travels throughout this book and throughout scripture is of the chaotic waters.

00:37:55.620 --> 00:38:00.270
Jessica LaGrone: So you've got the spirit hovering over them you've got the dove at the Ark.

00:38:00.540 --> 00:38:12.210
Jessica LaGrone: emerging from chaotic waters you've got the dove hovering descending on Jesus at the waters this image over and over again, of how how the spirit of God moves and then you have.

00:38:12.660 --> 00:38:27.150
Jessica LaGrone: Any anytime in that cultural understanding there were waves and waters boy, you had to be careful, because that is where chaos resided That was the home, just like if you and I, you know we're told like where's heaven you kind of instinctively like look up.

00:38:28.200 --> 00:38:34.020
Jessica LaGrone: This this culture would say where does evil reside, they would look down into the water and say.

00:38:34.590 --> 00:38:40.440
Jessica LaGrone: Right, and so you get this image of this sea of glass right.

00:38:40.830 --> 00:38:45.030
Jessica LaGrone: In revelation alright, so it is the sea of tranquility, it is the sea of.

00:38:45.750 --> 00:38:55.320
Jessica LaGrone: It is God has transformed this water into a calm place and I think that's a way of saying like anything in creation can be restored.

00:38:56.100 --> 00:39:10.230
Jessica LaGrone: God doesn't remove it, but he transforms it into something really beautiful the other, you know I talked about wanting to avoid the idea in this book that there were three steps to overcoming chaos and if you just do these things right.

00:39:10.290 --> 00:39:11.760
Jessica LaGrone: Putting it in the self help section.

00:39:12.270 --> 00:39:22.140
Jessica LaGrone: I think one of the other things I wanted to avoid is this sense that people look at Christians and think well is your God so ordered that he sucks all the fun out of life.

00:39:22.470 --> 00:39:25.050
Jessica LaGrone: You know, in our Christians so.

00:39:26.460 --> 00:39:42.780
Jessica LaGrone: opposed to chaos that there's no spontaneity no fun right we're just buttoned up to the to the top of our callers and you know, there have been movements in the Christian world like that, where people look at us and think that the absence of sin might mean the absence of fun.

00:39:44.040 --> 00:39:54.660
Jessica LaGrone: And I definitely wanted to sort of come against that and say what i'm saying is not really like put the guardrails on so tight that you can't really enjoy this life.

00:39:54.810 --> 00:40:07.590
Jessica LaGrone: that's not God is so you know there's a couple of different ways, I think that God moves in chaos in a way that says here's the appropriate places for spontaneity love fun joy.

00:40:08.730 --> 00:40:12.060
Jessica LaGrone: You know gk Chesterton has this amazing quote.

00:40:12.090 --> 00:40:13.710
Andy Miller III: When I saw you had this.

00:40:13.830 --> 00:40:19.440
Andy Miller III: Oh, I love this quote sorry i'm sorry to jump in i've noticed we're good I got a preview you sent me.

00:40:19.980 --> 00:40:31.350
Andy Miller III: I didn't get the full book by did look at your footnotes and so that I went yeah, so this is, I just I came upon this in February preach on psalm 16 and I was the pleasant i'm interrupting you.

00:40:31.380 --> 00:40:32.610
Jessica LaGrone: Please do I want to hear.

00:40:32.850 --> 00:40:44.520
Andy Miller III: psalm 16 do the the boundary lines have fallen and pleasant places for me, apart from you, I have no good thing and so i'm setting you up for to give this I think it's one from orthodoxy right yes.

00:40:44.550 --> 00:40:45.420
Andy Miller III: yeah yeah I.

00:40:45.960 --> 00:40:46.410
Andy Miller III: Go ahead.

00:40:46.440 --> 00:40:47.310
Andy Miller III: I love this quote.

00:40:48.030 --> 00:40:58.860
Jessica LaGrone: where he says that you know the the reason God has put these things in scripture that guide our lives they get boundaries to our lives is he wants to create a place where good things run wild.

00:40:59.010 --> 00:40:59.790
Jessica LaGrone: hey man.

00:40:59.970 --> 00:41:09.810
Jessica LaGrone: You know that's that's the hope that's the joy like God is like it's almost like putting the boundary lines on a soccer field, putting the boundary lines on.

00:41:10.650 --> 00:41:28.950
Jessica LaGrone: You know, around a playground saying here God just says, I want to see you play with joy and, and so I made a safe place right, I made a place for you, and that there are so many good places where humanity gets to experience the unfettered joy.

00:41:29.010 --> 00:41:29.880
Andy Miller III: of God and.

00:41:30.120 --> 00:41:44.820
Jessica LaGrone: that that is what creation is for for God to look at it and say it is good, it is good, you know that just that repetition in genesis one, it is good means it is functioning well within the ways that God made it to function, not just it's pretty.

00:41:45.270 --> 00:41:47.940
Jessica LaGrone: Good it's about you know john walton is this.

00:41:48.480 --> 00:41:49.680
Jessica LaGrone: Incredible Old Testament.

00:41:49.680 --> 00:41:51.570
Jessica LaGrone: author it's about function.

00:41:52.290 --> 00:42:04.110
Jessica LaGrone: And so you know what one of my favorite stories in the book centers around it, a nursing home where things got pretty sterile pretty like people the light had gone out of their eyes, they were just being kept alive.

00:42:04.350 --> 00:42:05.100
Andy Miller III: You know okay.

00:42:05.160 --> 00:42:15.900
Jessica LaGrone: And a new director moved into the nursing home a medical director who said, we need to shake things up a little bit and ordered like a dog and two cats for each floor.

00:42:17.490 --> 00:42:20.010
Jessica LaGrone: Like a chicken coop and a rabbit hutch outback.

00:42:20.190 --> 00:42:26.790
Jessica LaGrone: An after school program so that children were running through it and then my favorite is ordered 100 parakeets.

00:42:27.600 --> 00:42:40.500
Jessica LaGrone: To come in cages right, but when they came they came all in one truck and their cages weren't there yet, so they actually had to bring in 100 parakeets that they put in the in the hair salon of this nursing home.

00:42:40.860 --> 00:42:49.740
Jessica LaGrone: And the residents who had been so sedate and kind of without life were like at the window watching and laughing is the staff chase down 100 parakeets.

00:42:50.130 --> 00:42:58.290
Jessica LaGrone: To put them in cages that were assembly required and then put them on the floors and the transformation in that place is that.

00:42:58.980 --> 00:43:09.930
Jessica LaGrone: they're they're really their levels of medication needed went down the people who had been almost just catatonic and non responsive began to pet the animals.

00:43:10.890 --> 00:43:25.410
Jessica LaGrone: children's voices were heard and people who couldn't eat were non ambulatory their heads were turning towards the children smiling at them, you know just at every stage, adding chaos into this place, adding good things running wild literally and they're always.

00:43:26.280 --> 00:43:32.340
Jessica LaGrone: proved both the quality of life and then what they found is people live longer not amazing.

00:43:32.820 --> 00:43:33.240
Andy Miller III: I love it.

00:43:33.480 --> 00:43:36.120
Jessica LaGrone: Because life is for something.

00:43:36.240 --> 00:43:39.240
Jessica LaGrone: You know it's not just to be preserved in a sterile way.

00:43:39.900 --> 00:43:49.650
Jessica LaGrone: And so I think that message for me it was more than like God can make all things whitewashed and you know it's it's more like what is god's purpose for this.

00:43:49.650 --> 00:43:56.280
Jessica LaGrone: Right is there is there boundary chaos, that is a glorious spontaneous life, giving mess.

00:43:56.670 --> 00:43:59.400
Andy Miller III: Yes, yeah I love it, this is idea of.

00:44:00.090 --> 00:44:04.920
Andy Miller III: Sometimes holiness and happiness have been contracted.

00:44:05.190 --> 00:44:05.940
Andy Miller III: And I think that's.

00:44:06.120 --> 00:44:16.950
Andy Miller III: problematic it's a great honestly, you and I both know as preachers like it's great to get a good one liner and sometimes people might even say, a man or a deep um if you say God doesn't want you.

00:44:17.340 --> 00:44:33.000
Andy Miller III: Happy he wants you holy i'm great but but really that contrast, I don't think is in line with what happiness is not happy, the word happy itself can seem trite at times, but I I in our example, this is my own.

00:44:33.450 --> 00:44:43.950
Andy Miller III: In my own experience, my wife bought me Randy out corns a devotional book based upon a bigger book he did on happiness and it was called like 60 days of happiness.

00:44:44.340 --> 00:44:49.110
Andy Miller III: i'm like Oh, my goodness, what is this, and then I did I did that name say it out loud to her, but maybe I see.

00:44:50.520 --> 00:44:50.820
Jessica LaGrone: Just.

00:44:51.540 --> 00:45:01.830
Andy Miller III: Oh man there it's gone i'm Valerie said this to her to and and what I realized in reading that book was well you know I haven't thought deeply about happiness.

00:45:02.370 --> 00:45:11.040
Andy Miller III: And a call to happiness and I think this is what you're describing when we have the place where good things run wild.

00:45:11.310 --> 00:45:21.900
Andy Miller III: Then I gk Chesterton in that moment, I think he was comparing himself to like the agnostics of his time, who are finding life to be entirely restrictive in the Christian sense and he was saying no this is.

00:45:22.170 --> 00:45:37.230
Andy Miller III: This is an opportunity where the things that God has intended to get an opportunity to flourish and I think of this like as i've heard you talk through this this podcast you talked about light order fullness and then i'm bringing happiness.

00:45:38.610 --> 00:45:40.710
Andy Miller III: It sounds like a holiness book to me.

00:45:41.910 --> 00:45:48.420
Jessica LaGrone: I think that's why it is kind of distill it is distinctively Westland and it it fits in seedbeds catalog of.

00:45:48.960 --> 00:45:57.180
Jessica LaGrone: What is the Wesley and voice to the world that if it if it is missing, something very big and god's message will be missing.

00:45:57.720 --> 00:46:08.610
Jessica LaGrone: And that is that the Holiness is not sucking all the fun in life out that it is actually you know, bringing light and life and happiness to people.

00:46:08.910 --> 00:46:20.820
Jessica LaGrone: Through this image of restoring the image of God coming into the fullness of the image of God that's what holiness says, you know it's it's not something that is contrary to our joy.

00:46:21.480 --> 00:46:27.030
Jessica LaGrone: It actually reduces joy so yeah you're hearing right about the message of the book.

00:46:27.360 --> 00:46:36.540
Andy Miller III: Well, I love that, and you know here, honestly, I have a Martin Luther bobblehead here so just know that I do love them, I do have john wesley's much bigger behind me but i'm.

00:46:37.500 --> 00:46:50.160
Andy Miller III: Nevertheless, like the kind of Lutheran emphasis of being a simultaneously a saint in time, while simultaneously a sinner is this idea of like come this battle of our being that we're we're always struggling they were always sending.

00:46:50.520 --> 00:46:57.540
Andy Miller III: we're always in a place where we're kind of in this chaotic mode is that is there is there a danger to that.

00:46:59.580 --> 00:47:09.030
Jessica LaGrone: I think you and I know there, there is, you know there's there's a couple of ways to handle that one is to just give in and say once a sinner always a sinner.

00:47:09.510 --> 00:47:12.270
Jessica LaGrone: And so i'm not really going to.

00:47:12.360 --> 00:47:24.540
Jessica LaGrone: avail myself of god's tools for holiness i'm just going to slide into it, because what's the hope right if, once the Center always a Center what is the hope, why don't I just give into it and have a little fun, while i'm at it.

00:47:25.620 --> 00:47:35.400
Jessica LaGrone: And then, and then the other side of it is that sterile picture that we talked about but it's also sort of an abuse of the self to say to walk around saying constantly.

00:47:36.570 --> 00:47:38.100
Jessica LaGrone: I am a worm.

00:47:38.940 --> 00:47:42.570
Jessica LaGrone: And Luther Luther would definitely tell us that in a lot of ways right.

00:47:42.990 --> 00:47:49.980
Jessica LaGrone: That sort of that era of boy we didn't talk much about self confidence in that era, I think.

00:47:51.060 --> 00:48:00.210
Jessica LaGrone: You know that sense of like I had either better just tell everyone how terrible I am or I better fake it and clean it all up myself right.

00:48:01.290 --> 00:48:11.970
Jessica LaGrone: And both of those things that self acceptance and also you know self Reformation self improvement is what we would call it now they're so centered on the self.

00:48:12.150 --> 00:48:24.180
Jessica LaGrone: name, and that is not life, giving right God wants us to look to him for that fulfillment so absolutely that has been damaging it's, not just in losers era we see it in the.

00:48:24.930 --> 00:48:33.450
Jessica LaGrone: Day, where people are saying things in order to you know here's what the perfectly cleaned up Christian looks like fake it.

00:48:34.530 --> 00:48:36.810
Jessica LaGrone: Just pretend pretend and and.

00:48:37.050 --> 00:48:45.180
Jessica LaGrone: I think the Church is kind of past that because we've seen it didn't work it didn't work to say we've got this, all together, but we really don't.

00:48:45.720 --> 00:48:58.380
Jessica LaGrone: And so surrendering instead of offering a self solution really surrendering to the will of God and just saying you know sanctification doesn't come from our efforts.

00:48:58.440 --> 00:49:00.120
Andy Miller III: Right, this is the key thing.

00:49:00.510 --> 00:49:00.780
Jessica LaGrone: yeah.

00:49:00.810 --> 00:49:05.820
Andy Miller III: For us to be a movie to direction of think it will, when the when the call to holiness exist or when we put on your.

00:49:07.290 --> 00:49:10.350
Andy Miller III: i'd say probably an SES Chapel I know a huge auditorium.

00:49:11.010 --> 00:49:19.500
Andy Miller III: Every salvation every building has every Salvation Army sanctuary has holiness until Lord this isn't a call just to do better right to work harder.

00:49:19.770 --> 00:49:32.880
Andy Miller III: This is acknowledging that God is God is the one who sanctified guys, the one who brings chaos out of order, and I love like I love the image to like you have it's out of chaos.

00:49:33.240 --> 00:49:34.770
Andy Miller III: Very there is there is an out.

00:49:35.340 --> 00:49:36.300
Andy Miller III: Yes, out for.

00:49:36.330 --> 00:49:45.240
Jessica LaGrone: us in this yeah it's an interesting what happens to books and the process so that the original title was created, I mean yeah created from chaos and I kind of liked the.

00:49:46.260 --> 00:49:52.770
Jessica LaGrone: alliteration there and I think it was jd wall, who said, you know what we want is out of chaos we want out of it and.

00:49:53.400 --> 00:50:00.270
Jessica LaGrone: And we're created out of chaos right like we come from it, and we want out of it, and so that that title has become very formative.

00:50:01.020 --> 00:50:09.900
Jessica LaGrone: You know, we talked a little bit about the denominational struggles that my world has been bound up in it definitely applies to that who doesn't want out of the chaos of the pandemic.

00:50:10.890 --> 00:50:23.490
Jessica LaGrone: there's just there's a lot of desire there and I would say to you know I love that you know some of your listeners and viewers are getting this video aspect of this because there's actually a mosaic in my office.

00:50:23.520 --> 00:50:24.240
Andy Miller III: That yeah I.

00:50:24.450 --> 00:50:35.370
Jessica LaGrone: I put up like eight years ago, when I moved into this office but it's pretty mirrored in the cover of the book which I don't know how that happened, I did not, I did not choose you know the same like wave imagery.

00:50:35.670 --> 00:50:46.650
Jessica LaGrone: And wave imagery on the cover of the book, but the story about this mosaic, is it is you know mosaics our little broken pieces glued together to make something beautiful.

00:50:47.550 --> 00:50:56.310
Jessica LaGrone: This particular mosaic is so heavy it's on a slab of concrete and when I moved in and I had the facilities team hang it up and I left for the weekend.

00:50:56.580 --> 00:51:05.100
Jessica LaGrone: And came back on Monday, and it was on the floor, it had pulled it ripped out of the wall, with its way and fell on the floor, and there were little pieces.

00:51:05.760 --> 00:51:09.690
Jessica LaGrone: All over the floor of my office and half of it blank right and so.

00:51:10.440 --> 00:51:17.490
Jessica LaGrone: I had to like get help and as somebody like bring the bring the glue and we sat here and like tried to find the spots where it went back together.

00:51:18.120 --> 00:51:26.640
Jessica LaGrone: I have thought about that almost every time I walk into this office and look at it, because I can see places that are still blank I couldn't figure out where it all fit.

00:51:27.060 --> 00:51:34.800
Jessica LaGrone: And also, you know just that imagery, what are we, we were broken God puts us back together into something beautiful.

00:51:35.220 --> 00:51:51.240
Jessica LaGrone: Sometimes things break again, you know, sometimes there are events in our lives, where the beauty becomes brokenness again and God absolutely says get the glue you know I mean it with you and the picture is more and more transformed over time.

00:51:51.600 --> 00:51:54.120
Jessica LaGrone: But we're also we're also called into that and other.

00:51:54.120 --> 00:51:56.520
Jessica LaGrone: people's lives right like we're the people with the glue.

00:51:56.580 --> 00:52:04.050
Jessica LaGrone: were like yes and I sit with you in this can I, you know that we're agents have that kind of beauty that comes from brokenness.

00:52:04.590 --> 00:52:21.600
Andy Miller III: Just like a low and you said that is so powerful for me me personally just some I imagine somebody might be listening right now is like look that my my piece of art just fell off the wall is broken like somebody is like the words you just said hit writes their heart.

00:52:21.630 --> 00:52:23.070
Andy Miller III: Would you speak to them right now.

00:52:24.210 --> 00:52:32.970
Jessica LaGrone: yeah I mean I I have been there i've been sitting with people who are there, there, there are people daily that I sit with that are.

00:52:33.780 --> 00:52:48.450
Jessica LaGrone: More broken than seeing the beauty and I, I think that God is in it with us oh I love that Jesus didn't say hey you guys messed up i'm out that you figure it out.

00:52:48.780 --> 00:52:52.740
Jessica LaGrone: And I love this incarnation of God, who absolutely says.

00:52:53.310 --> 00:52:55.500
Jessica LaGrone: Can I come and be in this with you.

00:52:55.560 --> 00:52:56.700
Andy Miller III: amen yeah.

00:52:56.850 --> 00:53:03.240
Jessica LaGrone: So what I would say to folks is absolutely pain is valid brokenness is real.

00:53:03.780 --> 00:53:11.730
Jessica LaGrone: don't you know we all try different ways of numbing that rushing through it, ignoring it it never works, it always pops up in other ways.

00:53:12.330 --> 00:53:26.640
Jessica LaGrone: sitting in it with somebody who can sit with an arm around or a prayer for you or you know just finding that peaceful person who can be in it with you can can make all the difference.

00:53:27.900 --> 00:53:32.580
Jessica LaGrone: But absolutely knowing God never leaves us alone, in that it is never the last word.

00:53:32.970 --> 00:53:38.820
Jessica LaGrone: amen the story again and again affirms that that chaos Never has the last word.

00:53:39.450 --> 00:53:53.040
Jessica LaGrone: And so we can always see it sometimes it takes a lifetime to get the picture back together, but I really, really believe that that is what the Lord is about is saying i'm in it with you, I will not leave you alone.

00:53:53.430 --> 00:54:01.170
Andy Miller III: amen oh I love it, thank you for taking that minute there look, I want to encourage people to find this book out of chaos published by zondervan.

00:54:01.470 --> 00:54:14.730
Andy Miller III: and seed bed together by JESSICA grown who we're so glad to have on today Jessica and imagine a baby, this is producing more chaos in your life when I asked this question, but is there, another project on the way from you what are you thinking about now.

00:54:15.030 --> 00:54:16.830
Andy Miller III: Oh, my gosh Okay, you can say no.

00:54:17.760 --> 00:54:27.180
Jessica LaGrone: There isn't there always like I don't know how your how your brain works, you and I could probably talk about this forever, but i've been working through a doctor of ministry and preaching.

00:54:27.420 --> 00:54:31.920
Jessica LaGrone: Okay i'm sort of at the tail end of the project, which is on creative.

00:54:31.920 --> 00:54:45.840
Jessica LaGrone: preaching so I love to talk about the creative ways that God communicates with us, but then also I really think there's a book in it coming you know years down the road probably but.

00:54:46.650 --> 00:54:59.880
Jessica LaGrone: i've been really looking at how the creative communication of god's word is an absolute joy and what are the ways that God gives us not only the content to give to people but what's the container in which we can deliver that.

00:55:00.150 --> 00:55:00.510
Jessica LaGrone: So that.

00:55:00.570 --> 00:55:12.360
Jessica LaGrone: People can hear it delight in it, remember it be transformed by it, that that is really I listened to 106 sermons a year in essence Chapel not including Sundays, where I go to church.

00:55:13.350 --> 00:55:19.620
Jessica LaGrone: So there's a lot of preaching in my life and and thankfully good preaching you know I get to hear really good preaching so.

00:55:20.640 --> 00:55:30.030
Jessica LaGrone: i'm just thinking about that a lot and how how that can even for this new generation, a new era, continue to just bring light and life to people.

00:55:30.240 --> 00:55:43.950
Andy Miller III: Yes, yeah I love hearing that this is interesting um you and I have not had been considering the circles, we run in and we haven't had much time to talk, as that is through our life so hopefully that will change.

00:55:44.670 --> 00:55:53.130
Andy Miller III: But i've noticed that you are influenced to by one of my professors from my work at Perkins and that's Alice McKinsey.

00:55:53.190 --> 00:55:53.700
Jessica LaGrone: or yeah.

00:55:53.730 --> 00:56:01.500
Andy Miller III: She say she I, and I know you really like her book on writing it oh man I can't think of the name of it right now.

00:56:01.830 --> 00:56:05.430
Andy Miller III: novel preaching novel preaching yes, I even have my students through read it so.

00:56:05.880 --> 00:56:13.950
Andy Miller III: Forgive me Alice if you ever watch this but I that that emphasis is a part of what I what i've taken in it, and she really helped me quite a bit.

00:56:14.130 --> 00:56:20.580
Andy Miller III: And thinking about about about form and structure and that, like the everything that you're saying there and I know like I was.

00:56:21.420 --> 00:56:36.360
Andy Miller III: When you when you said you said that on the podcast like oh there's just there's not three ways to things in here I at the beginning of the podcast talked about how I have oh i'm sorry i'm getting I little longer here so then my text message started, going so then.

00:56:37.500 --> 00:56:45.210
Andy Miller III: I have five ways to deeper teaching and preaching like okay it's just a way is it way to keep people's attention it's not like definitely going to get there.

00:56:45.870 --> 00:56:47.400
Andy Miller III: I know you're not critiquing that i'm critiquing.

00:56:47.580 --> 00:56:48.000
Jessica LaGrone: myself.

00:56:48.330 --> 00:56:52.140
Jessica LaGrone: No, I think you said ways is it appropriate, with teaching definitely right.

00:56:52.320 --> 00:57:03.390
Jessica LaGrone: We that that absolutely helps us with points there the end it's a valid way of preaching you know, three points has carried us for a long time, there are three good points, and a lot of things it's just not the only way.

00:57:03.870 --> 00:57:20.340
Jessica LaGrone: Right, you know there, there are other forms so and that's interesting, we do have so many points of overlap that it's really hilarious that we have not just you know live next as next door neighbors for all of the points of overlap that are in our lives.

00:57:20.910 --> 00:57:21.300

00:57:22.410 --> 00:57:38.370
Andy Miller III: I alice's stuff is so interesting because trying to think about the how we consider our audience, even from the exegetical phase that's that's a helpful now now we're where we might disagree not.

00:57:38.940 --> 00:57:48.600
Andy Miller III: Some people might disagree with me was that doesn't change the meaning of the text, like the the challenge can be like Oh, we can think like as we're thinking of the congregation in our audience in the current situation.

00:57:48.780 --> 00:57:57.060
Andy Miller III: That that changes the original meaning or might change in me know well, no, we just keep them in mind how we refresh it so i'm i'm hopeful that you'll be able to come up with some.

00:57:57.690 --> 00:58:04.590
Andy Miller III: More material based on your own experience and now your academic work too that's that's exciting to me you're going to be talking and thinking about preaching.

00:58:04.890 --> 00:58:09.570
Jessica LaGrone: yeah it's it actually I think about it all the time I love to talk preaching yeah.

00:58:10.170 --> 00:58:20.730
Andy Miller III: Well we'll have to have you on to have a preaching podcast and to me sometime well just guy often we end the podcast a lot of times by asking the same question, and that is.

00:58:21.480 --> 00:58:31.080
Andy Miller III: Related to Title more to the story, like my ideas like this is a theological, meaning that there's more to the story than just being saved and having our sins forgiven their sanctification.

00:58:31.320 --> 00:58:44.160
Andy Miller III: there's a process that we have to become more like Jesus and to be able to experience life out of the chaos, but also i'm curious like when there's more to the story and somebody's life so is there, more to the story of JESSICA that most people don't know.

00:58:44.580 --> 00:58:46.320
Jessica LaGrone: I absolutely I mean that.

00:58:46.380 --> 00:58:50.040
Jessica LaGrone: that's a funny there's always layers to people right so.

00:58:50.430 --> 00:59:04.170
Jessica LaGrone: yeah I you know we didn't talk about any of this, but I have a family, I have my husband Jim is a he's a software developer has an APP in the APP store called my daily office that's so bad prayer.

00:59:05.400 --> 00:59:11.850
Jessica LaGrone: And so, he said Ministry of technology developing that and I have a 12 year old and a nine year old, who are my joy.

00:59:12.210 --> 00:59:19.770
Jessica LaGrone: So what we're really into right now they're just like riding their bikes around this town like crazy we're in the phase of hey.

00:59:20.220 --> 00:59:24.330
Jessica LaGrone: i'm going to write up to so and so's House we you know well, more Kentucky well but.

00:59:24.810 --> 00:59:38.310
Jessica LaGrone: We live in a neighborhood that's so close, we can just like stick our head out the door and yell and they can somebody will hear us and send them home we're just really loving living into Community right now spending time I think especially coming out of the pandemic.

00:59:39.360 --> 00:59:51.060
Jessica LaGrone: You know this like wow we can we're back to Community gatherings friendships and I am thinking, all the time about like my kids being formed by the Community around them.

00:59:51.540 --> 00:59:53.670
Jessica LaGrone: So, and you know that's not like.

00:59:53.700 --> 00:59:55.170
Jessica LaGrone: skydiving but.

00:59:56.670 --> 01:00:06.600
Jessica LaGrone: that's my world honestly and it's a beautiful world and that you know the book itself the chaos book is dedicated to my kids because they are both a source of chaos in my life.

01:00:07.230 --> 01:00:09.990
Jessica LaGrone: And also, they are the good things running wild so.

01:00:10.980 --> 01:00:25.350
Jessica LaGrone: You know, we have this life of like beautiful chaos, with a 12 year old and a nine year old and I absolutely get to preach and write and travel and speak, but a lot of my heart is coming home to them.

01:00:25.650 --> 01:00:27.900
Andy Miller III: yeah now do you ride bikes with them.

01:00:28.260 --> 01:00:28.770
Jessica LaGrone: I do.

01:00:28.830 --> 01:00:29.910
Jessica LaGrone: yeah you got.

01:00:30.300 --> 01:00:31.350
Andy Miller III: Your husband's name is Jim.

01:00:31.650 --> 01:00:37.050
Andy Miller III: Yes, so he I had the daily officer this uses like the Book of common prayers at the I.

01:00:37.050 --> 01:00:42.240
Jessica LaGrone: guess now it's the morning and evening prayer form but he's he's tweeted in a way that you can.

01:00:42.900 --> 01:00:56.670
Jessica LaGrone: keep track of prayer requests, you can read the scriptures for the day there's an automatic link to those that kind of thing so and he you know he loves to use technology to help people engage in prayer and Bible study.

01:00:57.150 --> 01:01:09.180
Andy Miller III: awesome well we'll try to include a link to that if you can send it to me, we can put in the show notes we'd love for people to get getting on that and yeah there's my kids are now 15 1311 so similar category.

01:01:09.480 --> 01:01:12.090
Andy Miller III: And we have a trail right by our House, and so they.

01:01:13.170 --> 01:01:14.460
Andy Miller III: They get out on there and I.

01:01:14.760 --> 01:01:20.640
Andy Miller III: Just praying that everything goes well when they're on that trails are riding around but they're running while.

01:01:20.970 --> 01:01:21.690
Andy Miller III: I love it.

01:01:21.900 --> 01:01:23.610
Andy Miller III: it's a it's a great phase.

01:01:24.270 --> 01:01:25.110
Andy Miller III: phase of being with them.

01:01:25.380 --> 01:01:26.280
Jessica LaGrone: Beautiful face.

01:01:26.700 --> 01:01:31.200
Andy Miller III: JESSICA Thank you so much for your time, it means a lot to me that you'd be able to come on here and I just encourage folks to.

01:01:31.500 --> 01:01:43.770
Andy Miller III: To go find her book share a link to this podcast to get people interested in it and really let's just try to find opportunities of the Holy Spirit uses to bring us out of chaos and into the people he's calling us to be thanks JESSICA.

01:01:43.980 --> 01:01:45.300
Jessica LaGrone: Thank you, this has been fun.

Copyright ©2024 Andrew S. Miller III