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So Much More: Creating Space for God (Lectio Divina and Scripture Meditation)Jodie Niznik
Welcome to So Much More where we're creating space to be with God. This podcast, hosted by Jodie Niznik, introduces you to two types of scripture experiences, Lectio Divina and Imaginative Prayer, and gives you space to practice them. It also creates space to hear what other's experienced in their time with God.
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What Are You Thinking About (Meditation on Philippians 4:8)
May 29, 2023 - 14 min
What’s rolling around in your mind? Are you dwelling on an uncertain future? Relitigating the past? Or are you thinking about the true and right things of God? It’s easy to let our minds slip into worry and anxiety. That’s why the Apostle Paul invites us to be intentional with our thoughts. As you meditate on Philippians 4:8, allow the Spirit to help you notice something from these words that applies to your own life. Once you’ve listened to this Scripture Experience podcast, head over to the next episode and listen to the interview with author Paul Angone as we discuss the life-changing practice of paying attention. (Releases May 31, 2023) You can find Jodie at http://www.jodieniznik.com/ Instagram @creatingspaceforgod Facebook @JodieGNiznik Download free sample chapters from my Bible studies here. Download your free Lectio Divina journal here. The exact verses read in this podcast are printed here for your use: Philippians 4:8, NIV Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Why We Needed Another Bible Translation | Terry Wildman
May 24, 2023 - 35 min
It all started when Terry found a Hopi translation of the Bible that no one could read. Sadly, the Hopi people were never taught to read their language, so it sat in a shed gathering dust. This made Terry realize that the Native American people didn’t have a translation that spoke to them in their heart language. Terry started small. He wrote and recorded, The Great Story from the Sacred Book. And it won the award for Best Spoken World from the Native American Music Awards. This began the journey that resulted in him and a team of translators translating the New Testament into what we now call the First Nations Version. A beautiful translation that will speak to your heart, Native American or not. Some highlights from our conversation: Terry shares the backstory of the FNV. It all started when he was serving as a pastor to the Hopi people, and he found a Hopi translation of the Bible that no one could read. This helped him realize that most First Nations people could not read in their own language and there was no translation that really spoke to them in their heart language. Terry started slowly with audio recording. This recording won the Best Spoken Word award for the Native American Music Awards. Terry realized then that this was a needed project. We talk about some of the decisions he and the translation team made with names. And why that matters so much in the Native American culture. We discuss the oral culture – and how this translation leans into the patterns of oral storytelling. The FNV is a dynamic equivalence translation. Dynamic equivalence allows the translator to make edits as needed, so the translated text is comprehensible within the receiving culture. Oftentimes the target audience is not familiar with the source language or culture and needs idioms and references explained or localized to make sense. Terry shares the Lord’s prayer with us and how he thought through the phrase, “give us our daily bread.” And how daily bread for native American people would have been different than bread. So he used words like buffalo, corn, squash, and wild rice to communicate this truth. Another important change they made was in how they translated the word “sin.” Many Native American people were told long hair was a sin, speaking in their native language was a sin – even being a Native American person felt sinful to them. Since this word had been abused, Terry sought a new way to communicate this truth. He came up with “bad hearts and broken ways.” Terry also shares his vision for how all people groups can learn from each other. It’s beautiful. We end with a discussion on Ephesians 4 and Terry closes us by reading the Lord’s Prayer and praying over us. Don’t miss this! You can find Terry and the FNV at: https://firstnationsversion.com/ On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FirstNationsVersion/ On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fnv.nt/ On Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerryMWildman Great News! You can order the FNV for 30% off and free shipping from IVP until June 7, 2023 at: https://www.ivpress.com/first-nations-version-paperback You can find Jodie at http://www.jodieniznik.com/ Instagram @creatingspaceforgod Facebook @JodieGNiznik Download free sample chapters from my Bible studies here. Download your free Lectio Divina Journal here. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
You Have Been Made New (Meditation on Ephesians 4:22-24)
May 22, 2023 - 17 min
We have been made new. And God invites us to live in a way that represents who you are – standing in a good way and walking a true and sacred path. As you meditate on Ephesians 4, allow the Spirit to help you notice something from these words that applies to your own life. We’re meditating on this passage from the First Nations Version. In the companion podcast, I have a Conversation with Terry Wildman, the lead translator for the FNV (releases on Wednesday, 5/24). We discuss why he felt led to make this translation and why it’s needed. You can find Jodie at http://www.jodieniznik.com/ Instagram @creatingspaceforgod Facebook @JodieGNiznik Download free sample chapters from my Bible studies here. Download your free Lectio Divina Journal here. The exact verses read in this podcast are printed here for your use: Ephesians 4:22-24, FNV Take off that worn-out and stained outfit of your past life with its selfish desires and worthless ways of thinking. It no longer represents who you are. You are now true human beings, with a new way of seeing and thinking. Put on the regalia of your new life. For you have been made new, created again to look like the one who made you, standing in a good way, and walking a true and sacred path.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Why Distraction is Destructive | Katie Westenberg
May 17, 2023 - 24 min
What’s the cost of living a distracted life? Katie Westenberg, author of But Then She Remembered, believes it's dangerously high. She argues that our minds dwell on what our hearts and minds focus on. And if God isn’t our focus, then we will not only get distracted but derailed. The solution is to remember. Remember who your God is and what he has called you to do. Here’s a few highlights from our conversation: Katie and I discuss how she started to see distraction as a detriment in her life. The main source of distraction is, of course, technology. Katie has some great tips for us on how to use technology wisely. We then turn to why remembering is important and Katie reminds us that God commanded the Israelites to remember. And when they forgot – they wandered off course. The same is true for us. We talk about Psalm 77 and Katie shares how the Lord led her as she meditated on the passage. Katie shares some ways God has invited her to remember. And she reminds us that we don’t need to feel shame in our weakened memories but to ask the Spirit to help us remember. One of the beautiful gifts the Spirit gives us is to help us remember. One way Katie has intentionally focused on remembering God’s truth is through Scripture memory. When distractions creep into Katie’s life, she said her favorite trick is to speak to the distraction. So instead of mindlessly picking up her phone, she will say to herself – or anyone around her – I’m going to look this up on my phone. I loved this trick because I’ve been known to pick up my phone for one reason, get distracted, and then 15 minutes later, wonder why I grabbed my phone in the first place! I know I’m not the only one! Katie closes with sharing her take on what it means to take every thought captive (from 2 Corinthians 10:5) Here’s how you can connect with Katie: https://katiewestenberg.com/ Follow him on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/katie_westenberg/ Follow him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatieWestenbergauthor You can find Jodie at http://www.jodieniznik.com/ Instagram @creatingspaceforgod Facebook @JodieGNiznik Download free sample chapters from my Bible studies here. Download your free Lectio Divina Journal here.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
I Will Remember (Meditation on Psalm 77:11-15)
May 15, 2023 - 16 min
How do you find comfort when you’re distressed? The author of Psalm 77 found comfort through remembering. Remembering who God is and what he has done. As you meditate on this Psalm, may it help you remember and recall God’s faithfulness in the past and present. Allow the Lord to help you notice what he has for you in these words. Perhaps you have some remembering to do. Once you’ve listened to this Scripture Experience podcast, don’t miss the next episode with Katie Westenberg (Releases 5/17/23). Katie is the author of But Then She Remembered. We talk about why remembering is critical – and she shares her thoughts on the real cost of distracted living. You can find Jodie at http://www.jodieniznik.com/ Instagram @creatingspaceforgod Facebook @JodieGNiznik Download free sample chapters from my Bible studies here. Download your free Lectio Divina Journal here. The full meditation text is: Psalm 77:11-15 11 I will remember the Lord’s works; yes, I will remember your ancient wonders. 12 I will reflect on all you have done and meditate on your actions. 13 God, your way is holy. What god is great like God? 14 You are the God who works wonders; you revealed your strength among the peoples. 15 With power you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Surprising Ways Women Served in the Early Church | Nijay Gupta
May 10, 2023 - 32 min
Whoa! What if we’ve been overlooking some critical information in Scripture? Especially about women and their roles in the New Testament church. This is what Dr. Nijay Gupta contends in his new book Tell Her Story. If you’ve ever wondered about the role of women in the early church and the church today, you need to listen to this encouraging and insightful conversation. Nijay introduces us to women you may not know about and their critical roles in advancing the Gospel. This conversation deeply blessed me. I hope it will do the same for you. Dr. Nijay Gupta is a professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary. Previously, he was a professor of New Testament at Portland Seminary, where he also oversaw the Master's thesis program, and advises doctoral students. He is the author of the book Worship That Makes Sense to Paul and Prepare, Succeed, Advance: A Guidebook for Getting a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies and Beyond, Bible commentaries, and over a dozen academic articles in theological journals. And his newest book: Tell her Story: How Women Led, Taught, and Ministered in the Early Church. **** GREAT NEWS! IVP is giving so much more listeners 30% and free shipping with the code MUCHMORE until May 24, 2023. You can find his book here: https://www.ivpress.com/tell-her-story Here are a few highlights from our conversation: We start with Deborah from the Old Testament, and while Nijay’s work is really to help us see women in the New Testament church, Deborah sets a helpful foundation. We then focus on women Paul wrote about with high praise. These women, tucked away in Romans 16, have often been overlooked. But what Nijay shares with us is revolutionary. We also discuss the structure of the Roman household, how it’s very different from today, and how some women held surprising roles in the home – and, as a result, the church. Finally, we talk about Jesus and his relationship with women. All four Gospels tell us that women were the first to see Jesus resurrected. What does this mean? And what have you been overlooking in the familiar passage of Mary coming to the tomb? Here’s how you can connect with Nijay: On Twitter: @Nijaykgupta.Read his blog at cruxsolablog.com. Watch him speak about Christ working through our weakness Follow him on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nijay.gupta/ Follow him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nijay.gupta You can find Jodie at http://www.jodieniznik.com/ Instagram @creatingspaceforgod Facebook @JodieGNiznik Download free sample chapters from my Bible studies here. Download your free Lectio Divina Journal here.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
It Happened Just as Jesus Said it Would (Meditation on Matthew 28:5-10)
May 8, 2023 - 19 min
Mary and the other Mary went to the tomb to see Jesus. He wasn’t there. At first, they were confused. But then they encountered an angel who helped them understand what happened and told them what to do next. They hurried off. On the way, they encountered the resurrected Jesus. Can you imagine? They fell at his feet, clinging to him. They loved him dearly. He told them, “Don’t be afraid. Go tell the others.” You’ve probably read this account before. But there is something in it for you today. As you meditate ask the Lord to help you notice what he wants you to notice. Once you’ve listened to this Scripture Experience podcast, don’t miss the next episode with professor and author Nijay Gupta (Releases 5/10/23) We discuss the surprising roles women played in the early church. As we do, Nijay points out something from this passage that I had never seen before. Make sure you listen in – it will bless you. You can find Jodie at http://www.jodieniznik.com/ Instagram @creatingspaceforgod Facebook @JodieGNiznik Download free sample chapters from my Bible studies here. Download your free Lectio Divina Journal here. The full meditation text is: Matthew 28:5-10 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” 8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Why the Christian Life Isn't Working | Ben Sternke and Matt Tebbe
May 3, 2023 - 36 min
Everyone's faith journey evolves. Many of us have been deconstructing and reconstructing, tearing down practices and beliefs that don’t work as we seek to rebuild something that does. Matt Tebbe and Ben Sternke, authors of Having the Mind of Christ: Eight Axioms to Cultivate a Robust Faith, discovered, through their own personal journeys and as they guided others, that many were becoming disillusioned and needed help reconstructing their faith. They turned to Jesus as the model and started to see that Jesus operated under some basic assumptions about God and his Kingdom. As they dug and learned, they identified eight foundational principles that Jesus assumed and operated under – starting with love. They say the first foundational principle this way: God is love, so it’s all about love. It seems logical on the surface but dig deeper, and you’ll quickly see that we may believe this is true, but we don’t really live it. Matt and Ben are cofounders of Gravity Leadership and co-pastors at The Table in Indianapolis. Listen in as we talk about their story, why they wrote this book, why love matters, and hear their insights on Mark 3. GREAT NEWS: IVP is giving So Much More Listeners 30% off and free shipping until 5.17.23 with the code MUCHMORE You can get a copy here: https://www.ivpress.com/having-the-mind-of-christ Some highlights from our conversation: Matt tells us about his journey of deconstruction and how it created dissonance in his life that he could no longer ignore. He says: It’s not working anymore, but I can’t quit Jesus Ben also shares his story and how he saw leaders failing. This made him question: “Is there a way to do ministry that’s rooted in love?” We talk about how they decided on the eight axioms and what they are. We dive into the first one: God is love, so it’s all about love. And if we believe this, how many parts of our life do we live as if it’s really all about love? We talk about some of the practices they offer in the book as opportunities for us to live like these axioms are true. We end processing through Mark 3 and what it meant to both Matt and Ben. A golden nugget toward the end of our conversation is when we discuss our real pain. Sometimes what God is up to is different than we would think because the goal is eternity. Hopefully, we can say on the other side of the experience: I wouldn’t wish this on a friend, But I can’t imagine having not gone through it. We wrap up with a discussion on our meditation passage from Mark 3. Why was Jesus angry? And what was the man’s role in this whole scenario? You can connect with Ben at: https://bensternke.com/ On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ben.sternke.56/ On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bensternk3/ On Twitter: https://twitter.com/bensternke You can connect with Matt at: https://gravityleadership.com/matt-tebbe/ On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/matttebbe/ On Twitter: https://twitter.com/matttebbe You can find Jodie at http://www.jodieniznik.com/ Instagram @creatingspaceforgod Facebook @JodieGNiznik Download free sample chapters from Jodie's Bible studies here. Download your free Lectio Divina Journal here.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Stretch Out Your Hand (Meditation on Mark 3:1-5)
May 1, 2023 - 17 min
It was the Sabbath. Jesus was in the synagogue and a man needed healing. What would he do? The religious leaders were looking for a reason to accuse and discredit Jesus. If he healed the man, Jesus would break the letter of the law. But what about the intent of the law? And what about the heart of God, who created the law? So Jesus asks, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” The religious leaders were silent. They had no answer. They became trapped by their pride and misunderstanding. But Jesus acts in love. He heals. As you meditate on Mark 3, allow the Spirit to help you notice something from these words that applies to your own life. Once you’ve listened to this Scripture Experience podcast, head over to the next episode and listen to the interview with pastors and authors Matt Tebbe and Ben Sternke. We discuss what love means and how love helps us have the mind of Christ. You can find Jodie at http://www.jodieniznik.com/ Instagram @creatingspaceforgod Facebook @JodieGNiznik Download free sample chapters from my Bible studies here. The exact verses read in this podcast are printed here for your use: Mark 3:1-5 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” 4 Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. 5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Leaning into the Gift of Restlessness | Casey Tygrett
April 26, 2023 - 33 min
No one asks for restless moments. No one wants to feel irritated, unsettled, or stuck. But what if restlessness is normal, healthy, and even holy? And what if we need to pay attention to our restlessness as an invitation from God? In the episode, Casey Tygrett, author of The Gift of Restlessness: A Spirituality for Unsettled Seasons, helps us unpack a new way to view restlessness. Casey holds a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual formation. He is a Spiritual Director and the director of spiritual direction practice for Soul Care, which helps church and nonprofit leaders restore health to their souls. He is also the author of Becoming Curious: A Spiritual Practice of Asking Questions, and As I Recall: Discovering the Place of Memories in Our Spiritual Life. And he is the host of the podcast Restlessness Is A Gift. Some highlights from our conversation: Casey defines restlessness as that unsettled feeling when we feel stuck in the present, know we can’t go back to the way things used to be, and we are uncertain about the future. Casey shares that restlessness is a gift because it leads to formation. It helps us ask deeper questions about ourselves and God. We discuss the meditation passage from Mark 1:9-13 and how even Jesus, the beloved Son of God, was led into the wilderness and a season of restlessness. We talk about how this should encourage us. And Casey shares how the phrase “and the wild beasts and angels attended him” gave him a deeper understanding of what restlessness is like. Casey asks deep questions throughout his book, and we discuss one of them: What is my purpose? Casey shares how purpose can get distorted to be one specific thing, and while it can sometimes be that, the bigger question is about love. Don’t miss this section to hear Casey’s insight on love as the big purpose of our life. We discuss how to know if restlessness is an invitation from God to make a change – or just something we need to push through. Casey highly recommends Spiritual Direction as one way to discern. Spiritual Direction can create a safe space to sort through the questions and listen for God’s next steps. I asked Casey to walk us through a season where he processed through restlessness. Casey shared two questions he asks when he’s walking through restlessness: Do you trust God? And Does God trust you? We end by talking through the Lord’s prayer and how Casey felt each line was in response to our big questions. This is ultimately how Casey structured his book. You can connect with Casey at: https://www.caseytygrett.com/ On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cktygrettauthor On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cktygrett/ On Twitter: https://twitter.com/cktygrett Ready to explore Spiritual Direction? You can connect with Casey or another Spiritual Director here: https://www.soulcare.com/spiritual-direction See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Meet Your Host
Meet Your Host
Jodie Niznik is a seminary-trained lover of God’s Word who has served in vocational ministry for over twelve years. She helps people create space for God in their lives through her Scripture meditation podcast and equips them to take another step with Jesus through her Real People, Real Faith Bible studies and teaching. You can connect with her at jodieniznik.com.