"Every step I have walked on this journey is one more footprint on a road well travelled. "
June 22, 2014
( all links in post are highlighted in black font)
I was looking for a quote to start off this post. Couldn't find one that fit... so I made up one. I would like to introduce you to two people that have walked the road that I am walking on. Their footprints have been etched in the dirt before I even knew the whereabouts of the road. If someone were to ask me who has influenced me along this journey, I would have to give the names of Drew Marshall and Wayne Jacobsen.
I have attached their websites, so I am not going into too much detail about their journeys. You can link up and check out their stories on line. I want to share how they connected with me on my journey and how blessed I have been because of that connection.
Drew Marshall hosts a four hour radio show each Saturday afternoon airing out of Oakville, Ontario on Joy 1250.. also streaming live off of his website. The Drew Marshall Show (TDMS) is Canada's Most Listened to Spiritual Talk Back Radio Show.
I discovered Drew Marshall when he was interviewed on 100 Huntley Street.
It was on January 29, 2007. I think I was sick, because I was home that day and had tuned in to 100 Huntley Street. I had never seen anyone like that on Huntley Street before. My interest was immediately peaked.
No one actually verbalized his actual thoughts like Drew Marshall did. I was "wowed", that someone could actually get away with "being real" on TV. Actually he didn't really "get away with it". Huntley didn't air the interview for its evening slots. I can't remember what they admitted officially, but I'm thinking too much anticipated controversy.
I started listening to The Drew Marshall Show after that. I would download shows because at the time, I didn't have capability to listen on line. I started in 2007... that was seven years ago and I still enjoy the show.
Drew gets real with his guests. He is not afraid to dig deep into their lives and struggles... not digging for dirt, but digging for the real person. He knows there are a lot of people on the Jesus journey and most of them haven't had a smooth ride. Christian media often portrays the "glory stories" (as Drew calls them). And it is often disheartening for people who want to follow Jesus, but keep tripping. Drew doesn't focus on the glory stories.. he wants his listeners to hear others talk about their faith and their struggles. This journey isn't a cake walk at the best of times.
Drew has a plethora of guests.. from media personalities to unknown travellers. But all of them have a story, and there is a freedom on TDMS that allows them to share sides of their story not heard on mainstream media.
I got a chance to meet Drew and sit in on a taping of TDMS. It was September 8, 2007. I made a trip to the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) to catch Heaven's Rehearsal. I had gone on line on the TDMS forum and expressed my enthusiasm for being in Joy 1250's listening area on a Saturday to catch the show. Drew read about my trip and invited me to sit in and catch the show in studio. It was a memorable experience. In studio guests that day were Reynold and Kathy Mainse from Crossroads sharing about Heaven's Rehearsal.
Some of my favourite interviews over the years have been Gary Burghoff (Radar of MASH); Jase Robertson (Duck Dynasty); Paul Young (Author of the Shack); and Anne Graham Lotz .
I am going to finish off this portion of the post with the comments I wrote in the Special Thanks section of the Acknowledgments page in my book "Still Broken". (published in 2008)
Drew Marshall and TDMS: You have been the encouragement that makes me want to tell the world that it's okay to be "Still Broken". There is a "broken leg" of the Church (Body of Christ) that is longing to have healing, but it has been a very difficult journey. You've wrapped your arms around these precious children of God and reminded them that no matter what they've done, what life has thrown their way and what brokenness they still experience...
"God hasn't given up on them!"
Drew, I want to do the same
Where do I start with this one?
Wayne Jacobsen was interviewed by Drew on TDMS, September 19, 2009. But maybe that isn't the first time I heard about him. It is just foggy for me which came first. I also got introduced to him through a project he was greatly involved with.
I got The Shack book from my friend Cherie just before I left Calgary in fall of 2007. I didn't read it right away, though, but when I did... it was... eye opening, thought provoking... and maybe even a little life changing. It was either through the book or the interview on TDMS, that I was introduced to The God Journey podcast with Wayne and Brad Cummings. Both co-collaborators and publishers of the book.
The God Journey started off as a podcast between two "ex-pastors" that wanted to have a conversation.
"An ever expanding conversation of those thinking outside the box of organized religion" TGJ.
Over the years the podcast has welcomed a lot of people into its conversation...
- People who are concerned, disillusioned and frustrated with how organized religion has painted a rather disturbing picture of God and His Love for His creation.
- People who love Jesus incredibly, but are not loving what is being labeled as "church" in the world.
- People who are no longer content to live under the obligations and expectations they were raised with.
- People who want to experience the life that the Holy Spirit has to offer them, but are being restricted by the walls and rules of the institution.
I was and am one of those people who became disillusioned with the life I had led and the obligations I was somehow chained to. Listening to Wayne and Brad's stories and the stories of their guests had a deep impact on me.
The next step in the journey brought me to a couple of books that Wayne had authored. Both of these books were written before the Shack, but I didn't get to read them until after I read the Shack.
"SO YOU DON'T WANT TO GO TO CHURCH ANYMORE" or otherwise known as The Jake Book was the next "life-changing" book I read after The Shack. Like the Shack, it is a fictional story, with a lot of whole-hearted truth within the pages.
I like this quote from the Jake Book website:
"If you’re tired of just going through the motions of Christianity and want to mine the depths of what it really means to live deeply in Christ, you’ll find Jake’s story will give you hope for your own. This book probes the difficult questions and offers some far-reaching answers. It just might turn your world upside-down as well!"
Well... in a way, it actually turned my world right side up again. That is too long of a story for this post.
The next book of Wayne's that I read actually was published a few years before the Jake Book. He Loves Me isn't a fiction like the Jake Book. It is about... 'the relationship God has always wanted with you'.
"Wayne has often said that he cannot conceive of writing a more significant book in his lifetime than this one. Learning to live in the reality of the Father’s affection rather than the false performance of religious obligation will draw you deeper into friendship with him, transform you from the core of your being and free you to make him known in the world. Sharing that journey with other believers will show you just how awesome church life can be."
It is a book I like to return to every now and then.
Unlike Drew Marshall, I haven't personally met Wayne Jacobsen. But I have discovered that he is someone that likes to correspond back with you once you have written in. In closing this segment, I want to share Wayne's reply to the first email I sent him. My initial email was pretty long... it was me unloading my story, so I won't share that here, but I like what he had to say in his reply.
What a great story, Ruby. I’m sorry for the pain you’ve been through, but I’m grateful you’re learning to separate the pain of religion from the reality of God. May he continue to lead you more and more into the fullness of his life and freedom. It is a process. It takes some time. May he continue to draw you into his arms and win you to a greater fullness of his love.
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There you have it. Only two men in the large scheme of things... but two men who, in sharing their journeys have helped this traveller along on hers.
THANK YOU DREW AND WAYNE!