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So Much More: Creating Space for God (Lectio Divina and Scripture Meditation)

with Jodie Niznik

Why Knowing Yourself is Essential for Rest |James Bryan Smith

00:00 29:29
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You are not an accident. You did not happen by chance.
Sadly, many of us believe these heartbreaking lies.

The truth is: God was involved in every aspect of your creation. He knew you - and loved you - before you were even born.

We need to reframe our thinking about ourselves. When we understand whom God created us to be – and when we start to grasp his love and grace – then we can live the life God is inviting us to. One that is abundant, full, and even restful.

In this podcast, James Bryan Smith and I discuss how understanding the good and beautiful you we’ve been created to be leads to flourishing.

James Bryan Smith is the author of the Good and Beautiful Series, which includes: The Good and Beautiful God, The Good and Beautiful Life, The Good and Beautiful Community, and now his new book, The Good and Beautiful You: Discovering the Person Jesus Created You to Be. He is a theology professor at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, and is the director of the Apprentice Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation.

James is also an ordained minister with the United Methodist Church and has served in various capacities in local churches. And he hosts the Things Above Podcast.

Great News! You can get 30% off and free shipping on the entire Good and Beautiful series – including The Good and Beautiful You - at the link below with the code MUCHMORE until February 2, 20023

Some highlights from our conversation:
  • James Bryan Smith previously thought “The Good and Beautiful” series was complete until a friend suggested he needed one more book. Hear how this happened and why James agreed with his friend.
  • James ends each chapter with a soul-training practice. The first one is called Holy Leisure. James and I discuss why he placed this practice first and why it’s a foundational practice for the concepts he unpacks in the book.

  • We discuss the false narrative that we are an accident. James tells us what the true and biblical narrative is and why this matters so much when we are seeking to live restful lives.
  • James says, “It’s unavoidable and not a sin to want to be wanted, to love to be loved, and to desire to be desired.” We talk about this truth, why it’s not narcissistic, and how these deep longings are met through our Triune God.
  • We talk about one of my favorite subjects – the finality of the cross. James unpacks this wonderful truth for us and helps us let go of the false thinking that we must confess each and every one of our sins to be forgiven. If this is a new concept to you – listen to it multiple times. This will give you deep and lasting freedom – and that freedom will release you from much of the anxiety you might feel in your relationship with the Lord.
Here’s how you can connect with James Bryan Smith and listen to his podcast:
January 18, 2023
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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
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