Today we are going to look back for some of the great thoughts of the entire podcast with Julie Connor, podcast producer, who shares her favorite moments for the last months with the guests: Alan Fadling, Michelle Pokorny, Frank Friedmann, Jonathan Pitts, and Chris Legg.

Listen to this special 26th episode and have a grateful journey remembering these conversations about rest, refreshment, and Sabbath, and the Grace-Paced life and leadership. Also, faithfulness in difficult times, the righteousness identity, and the abundance of Grace and the afterlife.

Enjoy this special episode full of wisdom and advice!

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Podcast Transcription

Hey, everybody, thanks so much for joining us on another week of following to lead with Kevin. I am not Kevin E. I’m Julie Connor. Podcast producer Kevin is out this week in between chemo treatments. He’s having a small vacation with his family, so we hope they’re having some rest and refreshment and building some great memories. So while Kevin was out, I thought we’d look back over our 26 episodes. I can’t believe we’ve gotten 26 episodes out.

And just look at some of the highlights. I’ve got five favorites that I really want to show you and share with you today. There’s been so much in the past 12 months. It’s just been such a crazy year. And as I was thinking about people going on spring break and rest and relaxation, I notice that a lot of theme that kept coming up in our podcast was about this idea of rest and refreshment and just really resting in the Lord.

And so those are some of the things that I want to highlight. So our first one is actually the most recent episode that we dropped with Dr. Alan Beveling. He wrote this great book, The Unhurried Leader. I’m a huge fan of the book, and I just wanted to start with a quote. He says, Unholy hurry may make me look busy, but too often it keeps me from actually being fruitful in the way Jesus wants me to be.

Jesus model Grace Pace to leadership to learn from him. We begin not with leading, but with following. And so as I thought about that idea of Grace Pace, the leadership or even Grace Pace living, I just thought that was a great idea. So listen in as we review it. Kevin and Alan fathoming talked about. I think in the rhythm of the scriptures, the way that work and rest relate, for example, is that rest comes first and then work grows out of rest.

In our culture, it’s really the other way around. You know, our day begins when the alarm clock goes off and we jump right into work. Work comes first in the way we think of a day in the way a Jewish person would have thought of a day. It was evening and morning. The day begins with rest, not work half a day of rest. Eugene Peterson sort of plays with this and some of his writings. He says, you know, halfway into the day we wake up into work that’s already happening that God has already been involved in.

And I just join work already in progress. That is a way in which Grace informs and guides and then it energizes the work I do. I’m not getting something going. I’m joining something already going that’s a different orientation to the other. And maybe the image I just briefly share is Jesus talks about taking his yoke. Well, in my mind in the past, there were times that I thought Jesus was handing me this big, heavy yoke and I carried it off and did something with it.

I think when he says, take my OK, he’s in the OK and there’s a space for me, we’re doing this together. So I think leading with God, leading with Christ is a way of slowing me down to his pace. Those are some things that I, I sort of harp on. I sort of echo often.

You know, this is obviously something that God’s wanting me to hear loud and clear, because sometime back in the past I was interviewing somebody on this podcast and I’m embarrassed to say I don’t remember who it was, but they mentioned that concept of risk being first and work being second. And I’m like, where do you see that? They’re like in the Bible.

I was like, OK, sorry. And then I was interviewing another lady, a long time friend of mine. A woman is great. And I just I started thinking about my SAT’s right where I my work week here at the office, in the ministry that I get to lead, you know, in a sense ended on Friday, Saturday morning. I wake up, I got to mow the grass. I do this thing and it is and it’s all out of this driven this to get to the end of the day and see this checked off list.

And I asked her, I said, how do I do this differently? She said, why? She just mentioned she, you know, something to the effect of it’s probably not doing it differently, but it’s about how you do it or something like that. So when I started doing was I would go to mow the grass and say, Lord, thank you, that I get to join you in taking care of your creation. And it was amazing how and how the whole experience of mowing my grass changed because it was like it was overflowing out of a spirit of gratitude, like I get to be outdoors and I get to hear the birds and I get to mow the grass, which I really enjoy doing it.

At the end of it, I go and I get to see it looking nice. There’s something about that that’s I would call it grace paced, as you’re describing it. Right.

And so that’s one of the things I’m thinking now of line from Dallas. You know what? If you were to ask him what would a great space life look like, I bet she’d say something like this. It probably look very much like the life you already have. It would just be different on the inside. Wow.

That was so great. Well, the second one I want to talk to you about reminds you of goes all the way back to one of our very first few episodes with Dr. Michelle Bacani. And she was talking about burnout. And, man, if you’ve been in leadership or just even living for very long, you’ve probably experienced burnout or come close. And so she had some really, really great thoughts on recognizing burnout. What are the symptoms and then what can you do about it?

And there’s a little snippet in there where she and Kevin talk about Sabbath and what Sabbath really is. And I just think it’s a great reminder as we’re thinking about spring break and maybe getting some rest, what does Sabbath really look like? So let’s jump over and listen to Kevin and Dr. Mursau, because we talk about Sabbath, you know, in a practice that has helps me with that because what am I?

Big struggles in life is performance based acceptance, thinking that, you know, my acceptance, my worth has to do with my performance. And so I practice it kind of has turned that on its head. I’m still on the journey with it. But it’s just the practice of Sabbath because Sabbath is a declaration of trust. To actually let go and to stop work for one day is is a declaration of trust in God’s provision. And God is the one that is God and I’m not.

It goes back to that messiah complex. It kind of helps counteract that. And like you, I’m kind of that, you know, am I doing this right, that sort of thing, because I want to make sure that I’m doing Sabbath. Right. Which which is not the great mindset with it. But I just find Sabbath to be. I’m sorry.

I want to say I had a guy tell me recently or so funny. He was talking about the Hebrew Bible, just what we would call the Old Testament, and he’s like, you know, Kevin talking about Sabbath, he said, you know, Kevin, when you when you Sabbath.

You are basically saying, OK, God, I know that you’re working and therefore I don’t need to like I’m going to I’m just going to stop and then out of my rest now, I’m going to go work. And I said, well, that seems backwards, like it seems like it should be. I’m going to go work now. I can rest. I said, where did you get that idea? He is on the Bible. This next clip features Kevin and Frank Freedman, and they were talking about Grace for two awesome episodes.

If you haven’t listened to those, go back to season one and find that the two episodes with Frank Freedman, they’re so fantastic. And then just as we’ve been thinking about this, I dhiya of kind of rest and Sabbath, he Impax Romans five 17, and he talks to us about what we lost in the garden and what then Christ has brought to us and what we’ve gained. And he says, through Christ, we got back place back in the economy of the garden we no longer need to achieve, but instead we get to receive.

And I thought that was so great. I’m an achiever. I want to get it done, get it right, and I will kill myself in the process. And so instead learning to receive so that what flows out of me is a much more beautiful thing than striving. So listen in as they talk about Romans five seventeen, I think you’re really be refreshed by it.

If you can grasp Romans five seventeen. It’s like the the like the fulcrum, if you will, of a seesaw. It’s in it’s everything packed into one. It says that death reigned through the one. So that takes us back to the garden and it tells us supremely what happened to all of us as mankind we died. That doesn’t mean physical death. It means separated from God. And so what happens is I use this catch phrase. There’s a sentence of death over us, the experience of death in us and the expression of death through us.

See, it’s a universal law. That man can only give what he has and he has death in it. And so he’s he’s a negative now. He was created a positive, but now he’s a negative. And so what does he give negative? What does he experience? Negative. Oh, my goodness. We need help. Enter Jesus. That verse next says that those who receive and I go, oh my goodness, let that word leap off the page.

It doesn’t say those who tithe fast, pray, go to church, read their Bible. It’s not about what we do. It’s about what he has done and longs to do in and through us. Open up your arms and say thank you. Thank you for what? Two things. The gift of righteousness. Now there is restoration. Back to our true identity. What in Jesus Christ moment we put our faith in you. Romans six, our old man that negative, controlling, manipulative, arrogant.

Do you need me to continue, Kevin, or write write everything that was wrong about us. Got crucified. Buried. And resurrected, so we now have become positive again when that happened, dying on the cross with Jesus, we also then received the second, which is the abundance of grace where we got placed back into the economy of the garden where we no longer achieve or perform.

But receive all that God is to whatever we need in the moment of faith, placed back into an economy of being the children of God, where we have a father who’s our everything, and then comes this final phrase that brings it to today, we will reign in life. Ari, IGM, what kind of people reign royalty? How will we reign? Very key word dà in the Greek through the means by which we will reign in life right now is through Jesus.

And that points us to the living Jesus who is living in us. It takes Jesus out of history, dying and resurrected. It takes Jesus off the throne of the universe and puts him inside of us so that we can experience and express it, sort of put it in that simple formula and not a formula God, but put it in a simple formula. If we receive our righteous identity and we receive the abundance of grace, we will reign in life.

Now, Kevin, if we don’t understand our identity. But we understand some of the economy of Greece, we’re going to be walking in license because we won’t know who we really are if we understand our identity and righteous in Christ. But I don’t get the grace of God, I’ll still be living under some semblance of law. And these will be my buzzwords should must have to. And they create bondage and shame and guilt and pride when I perform well.

And then if I don’t receive either, I’m going to be very frustrated, disappointed, empty. And that’s where we have this phenomenon. The church of people who we and fail and rededicate and fail and rededicate and fail. And finally there we dedicate our wears out and they walk away and people say, you know what happened? And they will say Christianity doesn’t work. And I say, no, no, no, I study. Christianity always works.

What doesn’t work is a lack of understanding into what the gospel really is. Hey, everybody, just wanted to interrupt the podcast for a quick update. I’m Maddy Beacom and I work at the Mentoring Alliance. We’re so glad you joined us at following to lead with Kevin E. We hope you’re enjoying today’s show. We would love to have you learn more about what we do here. Check out our website, the Mentoring Alliance dot com. If you want to contact Kevin, feel free to send an email to Kevin at the Mentoring Alliance dot com.

I hope you have a great spring break. Let’s get back to the podcast. That was so good. Well, this next clip comes from the episode with Jonathan PED’s. Jonathan is a good friend of Kevin’s and Jonathan suffered a great loss a couple of years ago when his wife passed away very suddenly. This is one of the most touching episodes we have. I really encourage you to listen to it if you haven’t yet. I just want you to hear a little clip in all that’s gone on in twenty, twenty and twenty, twenty one.

It has been so hard and there has been so much grief and so much tragedy and so hearing from Jonathan who’s gone through that and yet has just had great faith in the Lord, I hope it encourages you to keep going and trust in our faith for God. Let’s take a listen.

One of the things I loved about, you know, watching this with you, Jonathan, is I think that the temptation for people is are probably either do one of a couple of things is one is just to stuff it and just kind of go, you know what, I’m not even going to address my feelings.

I’m not going to address my hurt, my pain, or they’re going to be in the other end and they’re just going to go I’m just going to say the right things and smile a lot and do all these things. But I’ve watched you acknowledge the pain. I’ve I’ve heard you talk about the tears. And in the midst of that, you talk about how you’ve experienced God’s faithfulness.

And so what was that like? I mean, as you first started to share me, you’ve you’ve been an open book for two years through social media, through interviews you’ve done. I mean, you’ve never hidden you’ve never I mean, I haven’t from my perspective. I haven’t seen you bottling things up. You’ve been very raw and real with people where they can see into the transparency of a man who’s walked through. Man, just one of the toughest things you can possibly imagine.

What was that like? Revealing just the raw emotion of it all as you even experience God’s faithfulness through it. Yeah, I mean, first, let me say even just kind of I think there’s a verse some three, four, seven that says the angel of the Lord and camps around those who fear him and he rescues them.

And I think what I what I experienced still experiencing what you experienced is the angel the Lord encamp around those who fear him and he rescues you like just this reality of God rescuing you through his people. Like Dr. Evans always says there’s that verse, got the Lord close to the brokenhearted. He’s not talking about some spirit, never Neverland. He’s talking about like God coming through his people. And so I’ve experienced that. That’s what you’re experiencing. I love I love when scripture kind of lines up with what we what we actually see.

But I think for for me, I don’t know, like one of the things I learned in kind of counseling was that people that are grieving or that have experienced loss, that they need to be heard, that their story is being heard. And so for me, there’s actually been a relief and sharing. I got just made me to be a pretty vulnerable guy. Like I don’t take any credit for that, just who has created me to be.

So in a way, I feel like. I don’t know, God, I guess God’s using it, and so I don’t feel like I’m doing anything special, I just feel like I’m I’m sharing everything I’m going through. And some of it some of it’s like spiritual highs. I’ve seen that God is real and God is in control and God is guiding. And oh, by the way, death is there is a sting to death. You know, there’s that verse that says death.

Where is your victory where you’re staying? It’s not saying like we on Earth because we’re still in our humanity. We still feel like it’s not it’s not real because in eternity when she doesn’t feel that like she’s with the Lord, but to be absent from the body, to be present with the Lord like all that. But there’s still a reality of I’ve never walked through anything dark in my life. I’ve never been more afraid. What’s really what’s really funny is I was afraid of like thinking about little things like leaving winter at the hospital, her body, like feeling like I’m abandoning abandoning her, like all these real, real emotions that you don’t even think about unless you walk through it.

Like I just left my wife of fifteen years. I left her at this hospital and they’re going to be taking her to some morgue and all that. It’s just crazy the thoughts that you think.

But I think the only thing I don’t think the only thing that’s got me through that is the word of God, which is the reality of to be absent from the body, to be present with the Lord. Like, that’s not winter anymore. If that’s not who she is, that’s her body. That’s her shelach.

So I just had to like I think with everything I was doing. And I’m really grateful that my parents brought me up in the world, that I’ve continued to to learn God’s word, because every lie that I would face like that was a lie. Like the enemy wanted me to believe I was leaving my wife at the hospital when the reality was she was with Jesus.

I was leaving her shell at the hospital, you know, but you can’t know that unless you know that. And you can’t know that unless you know God’s word. And so, like, I think for me.

The beautiful thing I was able to do is line up everything in my mind against the word of God by taking every thought captive, having the mind of Christ like that’s the only way I was able to make sense of it.

And in that, I was actually, you know, Philippians, four says whatever is true, whatever is right, whatever is honorable or whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. And so that’s actually a verse that talks about that you can label. It’s the discipline of celebration. And so I was learning to celebrate and all things to find what’s true, honorable, right and pure.

Because if you look for those things, you can always find, like I think that’s true for you to write heaven like as dark as some of your days have been. Like if you think about it, like even like I could think, you know, I only had 15 years with winter.

I wanted four or five or seven. What about like, thank God that God gave me 15 years with this amazingly beautiful woman who gave me these four beautiful thank God I have all these memories.

Thank God I was able to make it through my fifteen year anniversary. Thank God. Look, there are all these it’s all perspective. And so I think if anything, because of God’s word, I’ve been able to have a perspective like a kingdom perspective on life that I don’t think you can have if you don’t know him. But then also if you aren’t leaning into the God that you know in your tragedy, because I think it’s easy even for Russia’s believers to just walk away from that word just because we’re angry at God or because we don’t understand when in reality it’s going to bring us more comfort, bring us more truth, bring us more respect.

You know, you’re right.

OK, we’ve got a great one here to wrap up. Number five, this one goes back to Pastor Chris and Kevin talking about the afterlife and heaven. They’re two episodes. They’re absolutely phenomenal. Go back and listen to them. Even if you’ve listened to in the first time, the second time around, they’re even better. And then their second episode, Chris, is describing that the new Jerusalem and just what God has in store for us. And it’s so filled with hope and beauty and just knowing that our hope is not in this broken old world, but they our hope lies in Jesus Christ and the place that he’s going to take us, where he will live extravagantly on us and where we will get to worship him.

So listen to this last clip. Be encouraged by the word of God that they read in it. And I hope it just gives you some perspective for the rest of your day. Listen it. Man, Lord, I’m just amazed at who you are and you love me that much, like I’m sitting here thinking I want to talk about a place that eventually I’ll go to hell and I’m more of ending this podcast reminded about the great love that God has for us.

I literally think Jesus will be giddy to show us his city the way that we’re giddy about our kids opening that one present. We got that. We just nailed them over the years. You have with gifts and and like when you’re when you’re opening a gift that I know is I’m like, I totally got Kevin with this, like and you’re like, you know, I get that feeling. I think Jesus is going to feel I think the triune God is going to have the emotion of, like, I should not wait for you.

And then these are just the city. What about our rooms? He knows us so perfectly like you might go.

Here’s my wife, her favorite flowers for her room. But he knows there’s a flower that grows on a planet in another galaxy that I would like better. Yeah, or a whole new one he creates just for me. I mean, this is the idea of this limitless God. I cannot leave without this this little section of this, because this is the part. What’s interesting is you get all this great physical stuff and here’s where John wraps it. Listen to this.

No longer will there be anything akehurst. The throne of God in the land will be in it and his servants will worship him, they will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads and night will be no more. And they will need no lamp of lamp of sun for the Lord. God will be their light and they will reign forever and ever this section. And here is where it talks about how they won’t die anymore. They won’t mourn anymore.

There won’t be sickness anymore. It’s in this section here where you find where talking about him wiping away their tears, for he will wipe away every tear from there. The intimacy of that of the personal intimacy. I should be afraid not of heaven, but of judgment. And to realize I’m being judged by a God who loves me better than I’ve ever loved myself. I’m being judged by a God who everyone is more infatuated. They don’t care what’s being judge about me.

They’re looking at him the whole time, like death shall be. No, no. The show there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore. Mm hmm. What’s it like to live without feeling competitive? What’s it like to be not regretful or remorseful? What’s it like to not be going.

Oh, this is what I should have done or what I should have done. What’s it like to not be in a hurry?

So we’re basically going to be in a place where we’re not separate from the love of God. We’re going to be our real place. Is just God showing off his immense love to us by creating this amazing place that we get to enjoy and there’s no sickness and death and shame in. Man, that’s rich. Of course, we live forever. How would you not live forever under those conditions, it would kill you. So it’s just it’s an incredible picture.

Thanks so much for joining us. That’s all the clips that we have today, and I hope you are encouraged as we take a little look backwards at some of the things that we’ve heard this year. We’ve heard so much wisdom and advice and just a great word from the Lord. As always, we want you to click subscribe, leave us a review. We want to hear how this podcast is impacting you. And if you want to connect with Kevin, email him.

Kevin at the Mentoring Alliance dot com. Thanks so much for listening to following the lead with Kevin E. You’ll have a great week.