Be the Brave Ones

Intersections Series: Everyday Discipleship and Building Community w/Becky Bowden

April 04, 2024 Amanda Maass
Intersections Series: Everyday Discipleship and Building Community w/Becky Bowden
Be the Brave Ones
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Be the Brave Ones
Intersections Series: Everyday Discipleship and Building Community w/Becky Bowden
Apr 04, 2024
Amanda Maass

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People need people. There's no way around it! God made us for relationship with Him and others. Our latest episode takes us on a journey of discovering the friendships we need - how to find and strengthen them! 

In this episode, missionary and disciple-maker,  Becky Bowden with All 4 One Ministries and Love One Another church out of Fort Myers, joins us as we continue to examine the relationships in the life of the Apostle Paul, specifically looking at Acts 9 and how his story illustrates the strength gained by living in community with others.

Becky inspires us to live purposefully and shares the value of mentorship, including the story of what she gained from the woman who taught her what it meant to love God with all of her heart, mind, soul, and strength. Becky's story highlights the profound impact of godly influences!

As we unpack the episode, we delve into the ways personal passions can intertwine with God's calling on our lives. We're reminded that discipleship transcends the walls of the church, inviting each of us to carry Jesus into our everyday lives. The Great Commission is meant to be lived out wherever God places our feet! Every action creates ripples for God's kingdom.

Finally, we discuss the role of grace in both our individual spiritual growth and in community with others. 

Pull up a seat and join us as we uncover how a life interwoven with threads of discipleship leads to deep community!

It's our hope and prayer that conversations on the podcast will encourage you to have meaningful conversations with the girls in your life!

Find our latest conversation tool, the Intersections B1 Bible Study here
Follow us on Instagram
Join our Facebook group
Help us keep growing and going by giving here

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Message

People need people. There's no way around it! God made us for relationship with Him and others. Our latest episode takes us on a journey of discovering the friendships we need - how to find and strengthen them! 

In this episode, missionary and disciple-maker,  Becky Bowden with All 4 One Ministries and Love One Another church out of Fort Myers, joins us as we continue to examine the relationships in the life of the Apostle Paul, specifically looking at Acts 9 and how his story illustrates the strength gained by living in community with others.

Becky inspires us to live purposefully and shares the value of mentorship, including the story of what she gained from the woman who taught her what it meant to love God with all of her heart, mind, soul, and strength. Becky's story highlights the profound impact of godly influences!

As we unpack the episode, we delve into the ways personal passions can intertwine with God's calling on our lives. We're reminded that discipleship transcends the walls of the church, inviting each of us to carry Jesus into our everyday lives. The Great Commission is meant to be lived out wherever God places our feet! Every action creates ripples for God's kingdom.

Finally, we discuss the role of grace in both our individual spiritual growth and in community with others. 

Pull up a seat and join us as we uncover how a life interwoven with threads of discipleship leads to deep community!

It's our hope and prayer that conversations on the podcast will encourage you to have meaningful conversations with the girls in your life!

Find our latest conversation tool, the Intersections B1 Bible Study here
Follow us on Instagram
Join our Facebook group
Help us keep growing and going by giving here

Speaker 1:

When I was in college, she really took me up under her wing and not only became a mentor for me, but also a spiritual mother. Up to that point, I knew a lot about God, but I didn't truly know God personally and intimately, and she taught me what it really meant to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

Speaker 2:

Helping you live brave, build community and pass on courageous faith to the girls around you. This is Be the Brave Ones podcast hey everybody, it's Mandy here.

Speaker 3:

I'm here with Delaney.

Speaker 2:

Hey guys, welcome back to the podcast. So excited you could be here to join us for this episode. We are looking forward to it. Right, mandy? We sure are. Episode three.

Speaker 3:

Here we go. We have been following the life of Paul through four meaningful stop and go moments in his life. We've talked about him encountering Jesus, we talked about him encountering a man named Ananias, and today we are talking about him encountering the apostles and going on mission with them. And this is all about this whole series. The reason we're doing this is because we want to examine, through scripture, what does it look like to make meaningful connections and grow in deeper community with others? And Paul is someone who lived deep with others. The way that he spoke about the church and the people that he encountered was with incredible and deep affection, and so there was something there, and we want to discover that so that we can live that way too and experience that, and so we're going to be taking a look. We've been in Acts 9, the whole chapter but today we are going to focus in on a set of verses, and that is Acts 9, 23 through 31. Delaney, do you have that up and will you?

Speaker 2:

read it for us. Yes, let's jump in. So after a while, some of the Jews plotted together to kill him. Saul slash Paul. They are watching for him day and night at the city gates so that they could murder him. And Saul was told about their plot. So during the night some of the other believers lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the city wall.

Speaker 2:

When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer. Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told him how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus. So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. He debated with some of the Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to murder him. When the believers heard about this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus, his hometown. The church then had peace throughout Judea, galilee and Samaria and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord and with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers. Action-packed scene right there.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it is. Yeah, I'm seeing how, right out of the gate, paul, named Saul, here is already encountering incredible persecution and suffering. Like it's not like come to Jesus, encountering incredible persecution and suffering. It's not like, come to Jesus, get everything you want. It is like come to Jesus and things might not go exactly as you expected. As you said in episode one, delaney, to expect the unexpected. But what did you see, delaney, when you looked at these verses?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, very similar. I think.

Speaker 2:

A lot of times, when we're craving to be on the mission field and be in action and say, all right, put me in, coach, I want to do things for your kingdom, we forget that there is always opposition and there's always obstacles.

Speaker 2:

And so I see Barnabas playing a huge role in encouraging Saul in this time to keep going. And, like everyone was against him, the believers, the people on his team were not encouraging him and supporting him the way that he desired them, to, the way that he probably needed them to. So here we have Barnabas who is like vouching for him and probably giving him that encouragement that he needed to stay on the course. And the fruit of that, the fruit of Saul's faithfulness, the fruit of their boldness in preaching, the fruit of the encouragement that Barnabas gave him, was a church that was strong and peaceful and at rest and living in fear of the Lord, which just means being holy and healthy and following Jesus and fearing God above man and not conforming to the ways of the world. So there's so much fruit when we do the hard things, when we are not loving our comfort more than the mission of Jesus. So that's what I saw.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it reminds me of last week and last week's scripture when the Lord told Ananias Paul must understand, or he's going to know, how much he must suffer for my name. And I think that it just speaks in direct opposition to the prosperity gospel that we can want to believe here in America. And I think that sometimes we don't even realize the ways that we believe things about God or Jesus or our faith that were never things that we were intended to believe. And I just sense God doing a new thing in the Western church of waking us up to see like it's not supposed to be chasing comfort. Right, we're supposed to be chasing Jesus, and that gets uncomfortable, but just like the church that we see here in Acts they had peace and that's what we want. We want peace, we don't want comfort, that's so good Peace over comfort.

Speaker 2:

They're not the same thing. That's like a t-shirt.

Speaker 3:

Peace over comfort. And then I see, too, how Paul needed others. He needed other people. He couldn't lower himself down at the opening in the city wall by himself, right, he couldn't do that. He needed people. And then, when he gets to the apostles and the other disciples, he needed Barnabas. And we need people, and if we try to do it alone, we are not going to be able to do it. We need others, and Paul is an example of that. I said, and I think it was episode one about we're the body of Christ, we're a group of people that make up Jesus on the earth, and so we need one another.

Speaker 3:

And so we are going to be talking with a wonderful guest today, super excited to jump in and have you guys meet her. Her name is Becky Bowden and she is a missionary in Fort Myers, florida, where she specializes in training others in discipleship making and sports ministry strategies. Becky has spent the last several years ministering to youth and adults in a wide variety of contexts, including inner city missions, one-on-one discipleship, community events, sports fitness and outdoor adventure ministry. She's also been involved with short-term overseas missions, leadership development and outdoor adventure ministry. She's also been involved with short-term overseas missions, leadership development and creating resources for discipleship making and church planting making disciples. She's currently partnered with Love, one Another Church in Fort Myers and All for One Ministries serving locally, nationally and globally in various capacities.

Speaker 3:

Welcome, becky, we're so glad you're here. Yeah, thanks for having me. Part of the reason why I wanted to invite Becky on you guys is she is like I've told her this before multiple times actually that she's like a modern day female Paul, like she gets in her RV and she travels around the country and she visits women that she's met through sports ministry and through different retreats and things. She stayed connected and she's kept the discipleship making going and actually goes and visits them and spends time in their area. Becky, we want to ask you tell us about a friendship that has stood the test of time, particularly one that you would consider to be one of your favorite people, like the kind of person that makes your face light up when you see them. Tell us about them. And then, what are some things that led to that friendship becoming what it is today?

Speaker 1:

The first person that comes to my mind is this godly woman named Angel Hadaway. When I was in college, she really took me up under her wing and not only became a mentor for me, but also a spiritual mother. I had grown up in church my whole life, but the way that she was talking about Jesus it's almost like she was speaking a different language and I wanted what she had. Up to that point, I knew a lot about God, but I didn't truly know God personally and intimately, and she taught me what it really meant to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. But the investment didn't stop there. She mentored me holistically to help me grow in every area of my life, and she taught me skills that not only helped me transition to adulthood but be better equipped to invest into others. And the beauty of this relationship is over time it transitioned from a mentorship to a sisterhood, and now I have the opportunity to invest into her oldest daughter and discipling her. That is really beautiful.

Speaker 3:

I love the last part especially, and the first part too, that you chose to pick someone who invested in you and told you and showed you through her example what it means to follow Jesus, and that makes so much sense when I think about your life and I think about what you're doing, and so, as I said, I look at you as kind of a modern day female, paul, and I would love for you to share with our listeners more about this thing that you do, where you go from city to city and encourage and build up women in the church.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely. My life is really divided up into local initiatives, national and global focuses. Whether I serve at a local level in Fort Myers, florida, or I'm traveling to other parts of the country or world, the goal is still the same it's really simply to train people how to love God, how to love others and how to make disciples, who make disciples. And while that goal is really simple, how I do that varies based on the relationships, based on the needs and based on the opportunities at each location. So typically, when I travel at a global level to different countries, I'm not there to stay very long. I'm there to train and equip other leaders. I could go and I could live in Africa for a few years, but I'm not African. So it's a better model, a better strategy of how can I find African leaders that have the same heart and passion but need some training and equipping in sport ministry or in disciple-making tools, and so I go and I serve and I teach and I model, or maybe I'll do a sports camp or an event in partnership with them to work together to catalyze movement in that location.

Speaker 1:

On a national level, it's more centered around events, and so maybe it's a conference that I'm going and speaking at, or I'm just attending and connecting relationally, or I help lead outdoor adventure weekends.

Speaker 1:

From those connection points, the Lord just really highlights personal relationships to invest more deeply in. So whether that's just a relationship where we just have the bond of sisterhood and doing life together, or whether it's an opportunity to mentor or disciple, either one-on-one, in a group setting, or maybe it's investing in a specific skill I specialize in sport ministry and so training them in how to use sport, recreation or fitness as a discipleship tool, and so I take those relationships and invest more deeply into them. Lastly, at a local level, it's more of just a hands-on approach and being able to both model and mentor others using simple tools and discipleship and sport ministry, and so I want my home to be a kingdom outpost that's focused on really equipping the body of Christ to live as priest and have a multi-generational vision, modeling kingdom culture, values, boundaries, rhythms, and then living just this life of adventurous faith and pursuing the Great Commission right where we're at.

Speaker 3:

I love that you specialize in sports ministry and I think that, for our listeners, how you can see this is taking something that you're passionate about and using it as a tool to spread the gospel to minister, to people. It doesn't have to be sports. If sports isn't your thing, it could be something different that God wants to use, and we see so much Jesus taking things that were in front of him and relating it to the gospel, relating it to truth, teaching out of things that were in front of him, and so we can use the things in our life, and I think that's about being present and having that connection with Jesus. But, becky, I want to back up just a little bit and have you share more of your story, like your three-minute testimony of how did you come not only to follow Jesus, but to decide to make the decision. I want to live a life like I'm living right now.

Speaker 1:

So, growing up, I was really blessed to be in a solid Christian family, at church every time the doors were open. And when I was seven years old I made a decision to surrender my life to Jesus and it's just been a gradual journey from that point forward. I've been really blessed to have a lot of godly women that have invested into my life and just really helped me grow in every area. When I was in high school I also felt this call for ministry, the way that other godly women had invested into me. I wanted to do the same thing because I knew that my life was different because of the community that the Lord surrounded me with, and I just felt this call to do the same thing. And so, in pursuit of that, that was in high school, you enter into college and I filled this call for ministry.

Speaker 1:

But I grew up playing sports my whole life. My mom was a coach. I grew up in the gym. Even from like a young, young age I knew like this is what I want to do with my life is I want to be involved in sports in some way, shape or form. So I have this passion for sports and I had this call to ministry and they just kind of kept them two separate boxes and choosing a college, trying to figure out the best fit, like I felt like I had to pick one. And so I chose the sports route and pursued a degree in health education and physical education so that I could be a teacher and a coach. And halfway through college the Lord stopped me. And then I heard in my spirit don't forget, I'm calling you to ministry. And it's like you know, my bubble is burst. I chose the wrong thing and so I started looking at seminaries or other opportunities, bible school to be trained in ministry. And the Lord stopped me and said no, stay where you're at and I'm like God. That makes no sense. Why would I pursue this passion for sports when you're calling me the ministry? But I knew that I heard the Lord and I just stayed. I obeyed in that and not too long after hearing the Lord in that, I got invited to travel on a short-term mission trip with All for One Ministries to Belgium where we were using sports camps as a way to connect with the locals, to build relationships, to share the gospel and then allow that to lead to discipleship relationships and going on. That trip was the first light bulb moment for me that God could use these two things that I was passionate about together. He wasn't just calling me to ministry, he didn't just give me this heart and passion for sports, but he could use them together in sport ministry to pursue his kingdom purposes.

Speaker 1:

So I came back and I immediately started getting plugged into. Well, what could this look like, besides this short-term mission trip? So I did from coaching to officiating, to private lessons, to working at a church in their recreation department. Lots of opportunities to have a lot of different experiences. And I continued to travel on these short-term mission trips.

Speaker 1:

So my life was surrendered to the Lord. I felt this call for ministry. But on the third trip that I went on, halfway through that experience, the Lord speaks to my heart again and says are you willing to give up everything for me, everything? That question really made me pause. I was surrendered to the Lord, so I thought. But to give up everything? It took me a few days of wrestling with that question to get to a place where I said yes, lord, you have my life, everything in it. And on the last day the Lord makes it really clear that he's calling me to serve with this missions organization that I was with All for One, or Sport Quest Ministries.

Speaker 1:

So I come back from that trip and I'm like super pumped. You know this is what God's calling me to do. I now have direction and Angel, that spiritual mentor that I was telling you about. I was telling her about God's calling my life and she's like that sounds really great. But you know, you've had this spiritual high and if this is what the Lord is truly calling you to do, then he'll confirm it to you. And so she encouraged me to really fast and pray and seek the Lord.

Speaker 1:

And so I did and I heard nothing for months and so I was like I know I heard you, god, but what I didn't realize is that question of are you willing to give up everything, for me was not a question to a life of ministry.

Speaker 1:

That was a question to a life of being a disciple. Ministry was a part of my calling, but that was not the most important part. The most important part is is my life fully surrendered to Him? And so he spent the next four years I was not in ministry teaching me what it meant to surrender everything to Him, surrender my finances to Him, surrender my friendships to Him, surrender my job situation. He spent four years teaching me what that meant before I actually stepped into full-time ministry. That was like a preparation process to really understand what it means to be a disciple. And as a disciple, whether you're called to full-time ministry or not, you will be used by the Lord. He will be with you and empower you and equip you in every way to live boldly for Him. You and equip you in every way to live boldly for him.

Speaker 3:

That is so good, becky. That is so good, like I think about even just serving in ministry, like not even like having a ministry, like job, like not vocational ministry but I'm going to serve at my church and how it can become all about the serving and we just skip over the Jesus part. And that's why we wanted to start this series with. Paul's first stop was an encounter with Jesus that set the course for the rest of what was going to happen in and through his life. And I can't get over Angel, this woman in your life who showed you what it meant to follow Jesus, and I want every listener, every woman, to hear this story. Women, I'm here because I had an angel. Her name was Grace, so mine was Grace, yours was Angel, and this is the way that God designed the church, and we're going to hear next week how Paul had a Timothy and Delaney.

Speaker 3:

You've had women throughout your life. You've grown up with women who've seen you, known you, loved you and taught you about who Jesus is and what it looks like to follow him. And I see you. The reason why I pursued you is and what it looks like to follow him. And I see you. The reason why I pursued you, delaney is.

Speaker 2:

I see Jesus in you and I see the fire burning and it's amazing and I want you to be a part of what we're doing at Brave Girls Gather. Yeah, I keep on repeat in my mind Becky is everything that word everything and I think of when Jesus gave us that commission. He said all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. So he is a God of literally everything. It's not just ministry, everything is ministry. And so, like I want to touch back on what you said, where, like, whatever you're passionate about, whatever God has called you to be skillful in, like, stay in that lane until the Lord maybe pulls you elsewhere, but just trust that God is in that too and that he is a God of everything. And he said to teach the disciples everything that I have commanded them. And so that's where, like, being a disciple means obeying God to your full, everything and with everything you have. So that's going to hang on my lips and in my mind for the next couple of days. Becky is just that everything.

Speaker 3:

Everything becomes ministry. I love that, delaney, and I know that you see it that way too, becky that as soon as we walk out our door, there's ministry. We don't even have to walk out our door, right, if there's people in our house, there's ministry. But we want to have a get real moment, becky, on every podcast episode, because that's what we're about.

Speaker 1:

We're about creating these spaces where conversation card questions from this series, and it is do you have any moments when you experience feelings of loneliness, and when and where do you feel it most? I honestly have not come across anyone that I can think of that has not experienced loneliness at some level. I think you know even just the story that I shared about my life that can feel like a lonely road, Because not everyone you know my age is pursuing that same depth of intimacy and connection with the Lord and abiding and living on mission, and so even in that I can sometimes feel lonely. The reality is that that feeling is not always true. I have brothers and sisters all around the world that are right there with me, that have the same heart and the same passion.

Speaker 1:

But in the moment, you know, when I'm just living daily life, it feels that way, sometimes just that desire to be married, to have a family, that sometimes feels lonely in the journey of wrestling with my heart, my desires, but not having those things that I perceived that I would have by this stage in my life. And so the Lord has just really done a great work in my heart to allow me to be content in the journey, to rely fully on Him, to embrace the body of Christ that he's given me, so that those feelings are just feelings. They're not truth, but they definitely continue to come up from time to time and I have to wrestle with them and surrender them to the Lord to know that they are just feelings.

Speaker 3:

Thank you for sharing those feelings and thank you for sharing that part of your story, and I want to thank you for saying yes to God. Really, I want to say thank you for saying yes that you would give him everything, because you are truly such a beautiful example of what we are supposed to be doing on the planet, becky, and we need to see this. We need to see this. Our listeners need to hear from you today and know that there's someone who's actually living out the words of Jesus, like the way he said to do it.

Speaker 3:

And sometimes that can feel so hard because we live in this culture that tells us to do everything opposite of what you're doing, and so I want to give you a minute to speak into that. Like, what would you say to the listeners out there who are like I want to live like Becky, I want to give Jesus everything and I want ministry to become everything, but it feels so hard and I want to see the girls go and do this. I want to see the girls give everything. What would you say to them? How would you encourage them?

Speaker 1:

It starts just with a heart of surrender. The same way that I said yes to the Lord when he asked me to give up everything. It starts with your heart. Are you willing to say yes to whatever the Lord says, at whatever cost, and so are we willing to count the cost and truly be disciples, willing to yield our lives? We also need community.

Speaker 1:

I love that scripture that you read at the very beginning from Acts, chapter 9, because I see three different types of relationships in that passage read at the very beginning from Acts, chapter 9, because I see three different types of relationships in that passage. At the very beginning, when Paul was escaping Damascus, it says that his disciples are the one that led him down, and so those are people that he invested into, like his disciples. And then he gets to Jerusalem and he's rejected by like his brothers in Christ, and Barnabas is kind of like that mentor-ish type figure that comes in that speaks up for him, and then, lastly, like, once he is connected, he's got his brothers and sisters in Christ that he's doing this with, and so I see those three types of relationships that are super important. We always need someone that's ahead of us, someone that can mentor and invest into our life that can encourage. That's like been down the roads that we're walking down currently. We need those that are beside us, our brothers and sisters in Christ, that we're doing this together. It's iron sharpening iron. We have the same vision and focus. And then we need someone that we're investing in, we're teaching and that we're training and so having that aspect of community and I looked back at different seasons of my life and that's always been my goal Someone ahead, someone beside, someone behind. I haven't always had all three of those in every season of life, but it's still like I'm always looking for those people and so always on the lookout and praying that God would bring them to me to be a part of my community. And with that community we need accountability.

Speaker 1:

Scripture says don't be hearers of the word but be doers of the word. And so when we have accountability to really pursue righteousness, when we have someone that lovingly says, hey, becky, what are you doing? Or hey, have you thought about this? Or just to encourage and say, man, I'm so proud of you for doing that. Like, I see your heart, I see your pursuit. And then the third thing I would say is just to have grace in the journey. We live in a broken world. Even though we struggle with our own sinfulness and our own flesh, god's grace is sufficient. His grace helps us every step of the way. We don't have to be hard on ourselves whenever we fail, because God's grace covers that sin, and we don't have to be scared to take the first step, because God's grace is there to guide and to provide. We just have to trust the process and be willing to step out into that journey with Him and with one another.

Speaker 3:

I love all that you shared there, becky, and the grace part. In the end, I do believe God's grace is part of what brings us joy, and we need joy for the journey, and if we're looking at God like a mad dad, you know, when we don't live the way that we think that we should, then we're not going to have the joy that we need for the journey, and so remembering God's grace and that Jesus went to the cross so we could let go of the places where we feel like we just can't be who we need to be, can help us so much. But, delaney, I saw you digging through your Bible over there, so I'm wondering if you have something that you want to share here.

Speaker 2:

I was headed towards 1 Thessalonians 5 because it says, therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing and this is again Paul, the same Paul that we've been talking about encouraging a church that he's connected with to keep encouraging one another, build one another up. And for that to happen, we have to be in community, we have to have accountability, we have to know what they need encouraging in, so we have to stay connected. And then he goes on to say we ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord I think of like Barnabas and his story too, like they are there to look over you and shepherd you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idol, encourage the faint hearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. I love that.

Speaker 2:

That's the last verse, verse 14. We have to see and be in community with one another in order to really gauge where they're at in their lives. Everyone could be looking great and smiling from the outside, but until you go into deep community, deep connection with one another, that's when you figure out oh, they are really faint-arted in this season or they are going through this. They have to be weak. I know what their week is like, I know what their days are like, and so that is where this command that we are given in scripture can come into play when we are actually seeing the ones in our lives, especially if you are in a season where you are not out in missions or your day-to-day stuff is truly within four walls or at home. You need to be the one praying and encouraging the ones who are in a season of traveling, like you do, Becky.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's the scripture that we are roundtabling today, listeners, thanks for opening that up, delaney, and we did send that to you in advance, becky, and I appreciate all that you were sharing there in regards to that and tying it in Delaney. So much to what Becky was sharing, which is why we chose this section of scripture, because we could see how it directly relates to the way that Paul lived, and this is where it really ties into. How do we do this, how do we create this meaningful connection in this deep community? And I see, tying it all together, giving us this ability, is going back to the love of God, the grace of God, the joy that we receive from God. That gives us enough to be able to give it away. But I want to ask you, becky, what stood out to you when you took a look at the scripture.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So I love how scripture like ties into itself. And so, looking at that first verse, therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing, and so that's a command that we're given. And then, if you go to the very last word in verse 14, it says all. And so you know, you think about that command, and that command is for all within the body of Christ. All need encouragement and that's a command for us to live by, no matter who it is in your life or where they're at in their journey. Like we all need that. And it's really interesting. Also in verse seven it says just as you are already doing. It's really interesting. Also in verse seven it says just as you are already doing. And so if they're already doing this, but they need that reminder, like how important it is that it's something that's done and practiced and reminded of on a daily basis.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, for sure we do. We need those reminders. I think this isn't natural for us to behave this way also, and there's so much in our culture that's telling us not to be this way. And, as you were sharing, becky, it reminded me of the verse in Ephesians where it says to let every word that comes out of your mouth be good for the edification of others. Everything that we say should build up the hearer. The person who hears it should feel encouraged by it. That's how important encouragement is, and I also, when I was reading these verses, I went back and forward a little bit. I went back to verse 9 and I extended it out and read through verse 22. But in verse 9, it says For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we might live with Him. And so what I was seeing there is, if we go back to the Great Commission, the last thing that Jesus says he says I will be with you to the end of the age. And when we remember that Jesus is with us, it's literally like he's walking with us when we're with others and asking ourselves even the question this is something I've been doing lately is Jesus, what would you say right now? What would you want to say right now if you were here? Because I have a mouth and you are in me and so I get to, I get to be like you. I'll share super quick.

Speaker 3:

You guys, I felt that the Lord was nudging me to share Him with someone that I encountered in a Sephora store it was one of the workers with someone that I encountered in a Sephora store. It was one of the workers and at first I was nervous. I felt like this kind of like the shaking start to happen inside of me and then I go, but Jesus, you're with me and you have authority over all things. And you guys, it was just like a complete fear gone, completely gone. Jesus, what do you want me to say? What would you have me say? And then I said the things that Jesus was leading in my heart to say, and this person was very moved and it was about God's affection for them. But I think there's something super important about us walking like Jesus is with us and remembering that. So a couple more questions here. When we look at this scripture, when you look at the scripture. What does it show you about God and what does it show you about people?

Speaker 2:

Particularly his love and his care for the church, because this is a letter to the church and, as we were reading in Acts 9 earlier, all of this work was for the body of Christ and was to build it up and grow it in numbers and make it a strong foundation. And I see the heart of Christ and I see God Like his body is the church, like it is a part of him and it's his love. It is his bride and his one. I just see the heart of Christ to love his church in that way and that inspires me to live with that eternal mindset. Of every interaction, every intersection that I have with someone, like have that in mind, that this is a person, a being, a soul that Christ loves and desires to be a part of his church, to be a person of his kingdom, of his body, in his family. Like invite them to the table, let them sit with you and encourage them.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I love that. You know, just as Mandy you were saying God is always with us, he is ultimately all that we need, but that's not how he designed us. He truly is all we need, but we also need each other, and how. With that, we have a responsibility, in partnership with the Lord, to be the hands and feet of Jesus to provide. God is our encouragement, but he uses the body of Christ to encourage the church. God is the one that strengthens us, but he uses the body of Christ to make us strong.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it makes me think about Jesus praying that we would be one, as Him and the Father are one, and I don't think that we take it to the depth that Christ would like us, to, the understanding, the depth of understanding that we are one with Him and we are literally like walking and talking. Jesus is on the earth. That's what he wants us to be. He wants us to be so close to him that we would not withhold love from someone who needs to hear it, that we would look at the things that Jesus did and we would do them. But I don't want to leave this time, becky, without allowing you to share about something that you are doing down there in Fort Myers. I just kind of shift a little bit. So you are with Catalyst Community Wellness and that's connected with Love. One Another Church and you guys are looking at fitness and wellness a little different than everyone might look at fitness and wellness. You're looking at it as an opportunity to live out the Great Commission. I would love for you to share that with our audience.

Speaker 1:

So the gym is owned by a Christian family that wants to use their gym for God's glory, but to the outside world it's just a secular business that you know. They can come in and they can get training, they can come work out, and so the main draw with this gym is personal training in small group settings. So between like, a trainer is working with like one to maybe four people at a time going through a workout that's personalized for each person, but they're doing it together and so within that there's that community aspect. Everyone's working out at the same time. You have the same people, the same class time every week and then, because you're doing that together, there's opportunity to engage in just doing life together. Like, hey, you want to go grab some coffee after workout or you know, just like, as you're working out, like man, it's been such a rough week, and so you're able to share that. You're sharing life.

Speaker 1:

And we're looking for opportunities to engage in spiritual conversations that point to the gospel, that give opportunity for us to share, like what the Lord's done in our life, and then, like, from there, be able to disciple them.

Speaker 1:

And so everyone that comes through the gym door, we're looking at them as a potential disciple and a potential disciple maker. Whether it's one of our trainers that maybe doesn't know Jesus or isn't, you know, following him, whether it's a client that's coming in for training, whether it's a supplier that's bringing in different things or doing work in the gym, repair work, whoever it is, every relationship, every person is an opportunity for us to live missionally with and an opportunity to share about Jesus, and so we just pray for those opportunities and know that sometimes it happens like right then and there, and sometimes it takes time to develop the depth of a relationship where they're more open to the gospel. But that's ultimately our goal is how can we both follow Jesus in taking care of our hearts, our bodies, to living as disciples, and then how can we fish for people in the pond that we're passionate about with fitness.

Speaker 2:

That is the model that we should all look at our lives through, in the sense of like every single person that comes through wherever we are, wherever the Lord has us, and like the creativity that y'all have used. But it's also like this is just the way people do life. Like we have muscles that actually need to be worked out and the consistency of a gym. Like you're constantly seeing the same people. Like there is so many other ways that our listeners, I'm sure, can think of, whether it's the gym or not. Like you have your same coffee shop, you have your same your job, your work, your cubicle, everything. That's such a sweet model, so thank you for sharing that. I'm so glad that you were able to join us and talk about that, because if we just were to think through the day-to-day stuff, the regular stuff, the secular stuff that we participate in, and merge it with ministry and look at it through that lens like disciples will be made and it is all because God is in everything, like we were talking about in the beginning.

Speaker 3:

That was what I was getting there. Delaney is everything I was going back to that word everything you just said, basically, becky, that you guys are using everything for the glory of God, and that's my takeaway. We like to close with what are you taking away from this? What does it look like for you to be transformed from this conversation and walk away and be different? And for me it's. I want to examine am I using everything? Where might I be missing opportunities or where's their potential? Let's not focus it in the negative, but where's their potential where I could use more for Jesus. So I'd love to hear from you guys what are you taking away from this conversation?

Speaker 2:

Everything that's my takeaway.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think back to the passage that we read in the word all. I think I can look at certain people and get a little intimidated, the same way that you were intimidated the story that you shared. Mandy and I can look at certain people and there's actually one person in mind that she's been like really closed off to relationships and there's a lot of brokenness there and so that's kind of like push me away, but God's heart is for all people, so like am I willing to step into that space, even though it's uncomfortable, Because she is part of that all?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's good, that's good, that's convicting.

Speaker 3:

So good. Thank you, becky, so much for joining us for this conversation. I know it's going to be so impactful for so many people. Yeah, Thanks for having me. Thank you, guys, so much for joining us for this conversation. We have meaningful conversations on the podcast in hopes that you will go and have meaningful conversations with the girls in your life, and we give you tools to help you to do that.

Speaker 3:

Recent release is the Intersections Bible Study. It gives you the opportunity to talk about the same scriptures that we are talking about here on the podcast with the girls in your life. So you can find it in our show notes. We're going to link it there. And did you know that we are a 501c3 nonprofit ministry? We do not charge for you to access and download our resources. We can do this because of Jesus and generous givers. If you've been blessed by our resources or if you are inspired and encouraged by our mission and vision and want to see us keep growing and going, we invite you to give on our Give page. We'll include that in the show notes also. We have one more episode left in this series. We don't want you to give on our give page. We'll include that in the show notes. Also, we have one more episode left in this series. We don't want you to miss it. So if you haven't yet subscribed to the podcast, go ahead and do that now, and we'll see you back here next week for episode four in the intersection series.

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