Friends, I’m so very excited to introduce you to an old friend of mine: Cari Jenkins is an executive director, a speaker and a hospitality guru …and as of this last October, she’s now an author too! If you need to be reminded of your belovedness (which, hint hint: we all do), be sure to check out the interview with Cari, then head over to your favorite bookseller soon thereafter to pick up your copy of Listen and Live. Enjoy and be nourished by Cari’s words!
Tell us a bit about yourself, will you? I fell in love with Jesus at a very early age and have sought to listen and live in response to Him since. I currently serve as the Executive Director of Urban Skye, a Denver based non-profit, whose aim is to see cities where every person has a pastor. I lead groups, retreats, and guided solitude experiences where I desire to see people connect with the heart of Jesus and their identity in him as children of God. I speak regularly in churches, at conferences, for retreats, and for groups (so visit my website if you’re interested in having me share). My desire is to see people formed in Jesus for the transformation of the places they live, work, and play.
I also hold an annual goal of hosting 500 people around my dinner table and believe the table is a place that is holy and is profoundly deep and simple. I believe hospitality is a love offering in the name of Jesus for the good of any person.
Let’s talk about your book: what, in a nutshell, is your book about anyway? The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. – John 10:3–4 In these words you will experience the voice of the Father who loves you and will be invited to follow after him as you live in response to his words. You will sink into the truth of your own belovedness, as a child of God and through the exercises you will learn to recognize and hear the voice of your Good Shepherd. It is a journey of intimacy and transformational love.
Do tell, what was the inspiration behind it? I deeply desire people to know that they are loved and that the Father desires to speak with them. I wrote this book for a group of people I was mentoring, with the hope they would learn to trust that the Father speaks through scripture and that they too can hear from Him. And, because we are changed by what we read, and our transformation leads to living differently, the idea that we are invited to live in response to our transformation seemed natural. Every part of this book came from my own walk with Jesus and learning to listen and live in and out of the text and the voice of the Good Shepherd.
How do you hope readers will be changed by your words? My prayer is that people will learn to hear and know the voice of the Father and live in response to His voice daily. His voice tells us who we are, who He is, and invites us to love others out of this place. John speaks to our identity as Children of God and our place as we abide in Him. I pray people will leave the book knowing the sound of the Father’s voice, the truth of identity in Jesus, the ability to listen to, not only study scripture and to soak in the goodness it holds.
Lest we forget to ask, how have YOU been changed by writing the book? I was changed by the pace of reading. Taking 215 days to go through a book of the bible was a rich gift, slow as it may be, the soaking in it changed me and invited me to a deeper place with Jesus. I can tend to move fast and move through a lot and this pace was both a challenge for me, but in the end, ended up changing me bit by bit.
I was changed by the content of John. He speaks so fluidly of identity, belief, light and place. I was encouraged to practice that which I read and was changed as I lived out of the invitations I encountered as I read.
So, what say you? If you’d like to win a copy of Listen and Live, leave a comment here or head over to my Instagram account in a couple of days for more chances to win. Otherwise, tell Cari why you’re excited to read her words!
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