After 30+ years as a Christian author and speaker–working with churches and ministries—I’m adding a new endeavor: a mission to help anyone–perhaps you?–find, simplify and multiply your faith.
On this podcast, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a long-time follower, or just exploring faith for the first time. The faith revolution is for anyone.
Let’s find our faith from a fresh perspective. Then, let’s get rid of all the complicated stuff and make it simple again–just like it was in the first days of Christianity. And finally? Let’s use our faith to influence others so that they tell us, “I want what you’ve got. Tell me more.”
Join me then, and various guests, as we seek to influence the world with a simple and life changing faith.
Interview with Robert G. Lee
In this episode of The Faith Revolution Podcast...I had the joy of sitting down with comedian and friend Robert G. Lee, where we chatted about his incredible ability to bring faith into a surprising world--Hollywood.
Robert is a warm-up comic for many of Norman Lear's live audience sit-coms, bringing his unique clean comedy to the set, episode after episode.
How does he do it? What drives Robert? Tune in and listen to our conversation--I learned a lot and laughed along the way. Grab a coffee, or get that workout started--and enjoy listening to a guy who understands the power of bringing faith to the office, and the stage.
Robert G. Lee's BioNot Many Comics . . .
Make the cover of The Wall Street Journal
Have released eight 100% clean comedy videos
Warm up audiences for Hollywood's top sitcoms
Can perform the entire Bible in under 30 minutes
Have written and directed a feature motion picture
Well known in the entertainment industry as Hollywood’s top warm-up comic, Robert is a veteran of more than 1,500 episodes of such shows as The New Adventures of Old Christine, Just Shoot Me, Becker and The Drew Carey Show. His job is to keep countless audiences entertained for hours between scenes and costume and set changes with rapid-fire ad-libs and humorous interviews.
No stranger in front of the camera either, Robert has been seen on the Bananas Comedy series, Showtime's The Joke's On Thee, VH1's Stand Up Spotlight, Comic Strip Live and a variety of roles on such sitcoms as Wings and Perfect Strangers.
Robert has combined his Christian world view with his Monty Python sensibility and written many Veggie Tales videos such as “Little Joe,” “Gideon” and “Sheerluck Holmes.”
To top it off, Robert just released his latest comedy project, “Wisenheimer” and just finished post production on “Can I Get A Witness Protection?” a full length faith-based screwball comedy feature he wrote and directed.
"Immanuel" is a word we hear a lot at Christmas, so let's give it a different look. Kirk and Jenn discuss the simplicity of this name--even pulling in a Steve Martin movie reference--to help us see what the angel might have meant when he gave Joseph a heads-up on who he would be fathering.To ConsiderIf "God is with us," what does that mean for our perspective in challenging circumstances?
References (Click Link)Bible: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%201andversion=ESV (The Name of Jesus, Emmanuel)
Bible: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+9andversion=ESV (Book of Isaiah), The Name of Jesus
In this episode, "Labels", Kirk and Jenn discuss how labels affect our faith and influence. Including labels we put on ourselves, the labels we place on one another, and the actual labels God wants us to wear.To ConsiderWhat affect have labels had on you personally, both good and bad?
In what ways have labels affected your relationships with other people?
References (Click Link)Bible: https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=+jew+and+greekandversion=NASB (Paul's Thought Regarding Labels)
Bible: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua%202andversion=NASB (Rahab and Salmon)
Bible: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%208andversion=NASB (Woman in Adultery)
Bible: https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=fruitandversion=NASB (Fruit of the Spirit)
Bible: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2010%3A25-37andversion=ESV (The Greatest Commands - Matthew 22:36 - 40)
Bible: https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=good+samaritanandversion=ESV (Good Samaritan )
Bible: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+10%3A38andversion=NASB (Jesus did Good, God was with Him)
https://www.cancer.org/ (American Cancer Society)
https://www.goodwill.org/ (Goodwill Industries)
Kirk: It's great to have you on the podcast, and today is one of those uncomfortable ones. We're going to be talking about labels.
Jenn: Labels. This topic has been something on my heart for some time now. I just feel like there's a lot to uncover in this topic for us, as men and women of faith.
Kirk: There is. And I look at it as labels we put on ourselves, I want to talk about that. Labels we put on others, and then there is a label I believe God wants for us. So I want to jump in here and talk first about labels that we put on ourselves. And this is tough, because to be honest with you Jenn, there are labels that I'm very comfortable with. I want some labels. Are you the same?
Defining LabelsJenn: Yeah, I agree. I think to really get to the root of it, first of all, labels are things we start collecting from the time we are very young. Labels are a natural part of human existence. I don't think either of us would even say they're bad necessarily, but I do think that they can become an enemy of who God wants and needs us to be.
Kirk: Yeah, exactly, right. Well, I look at my life and there are labels that I have carried somewhat proudly at times, you know my work with Life Affirming Ministries, that gives me one label. Our faith can give us a label in some ways. I get very comfortable with those and I go, "Okay, this means I'm part of a tribe." And if I feed into that label, I know that I'm going to get some attaboys. People are going to go, "Go get 'em Kirk, this is great." And so I get very comfortable with that, and I want to live in the label and that's where it gets tough.
Jenn: Right. Yeah. So maybe we start by asking, "What do we mean by the word label? How would we even define that word?"
Kirk: Well, that's a good one. Well, I see it defined as things we believe, maybe theologically. We can look at denominations as labels, our beliefs, our political views.
Our views on political issues can definitely be labels. I'm a this, political party, or you're a that because you are to the left of me or you're to the right of me, and so we got these labels that we create.
Labels We WearJenn: Yeah, I agree. So what are the labels we put on ourselves. What are the labels that we put on ourselves that we carry and why?
Kirk: Yeah, and again, I would say that it's because it makes me comfortable. I want to have certain labels so that people look at me and go, "I'm one of you, and I'm in the bunch, I'm in the tribe." I also want people to look at my labels and say, "he's not one of me." It's funny because I kind of create enemies that way if I'm not careful.
Jenn: Yeah, I do think labels are very deceptive sometimes. Labels can be bad, that we are carrying like I'm not a good...
It's Okay When You're Not Okay
In this episode of The Faith Revolution Podcast, It's Okay When You're Not Okay, Kirk and Jenn discuss the importance of transparency in our faith and relationships. References (Click Link)https://www.klovefanawards.com/ (K-Love Fan Awards)
https://g.co/kgs/tnmmeF (Darren Mulligan)
https://www.heartbeatinternational.org/ (Heartbeat International)
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+7andversion=ESV (Stephen's Death)
It's Okay When You're Not Okay Transcript
An Inspiring Song...Kirk: This is Kirk.
Jenn: And this is Jenn
Kirk: And it's great to have you on the Faith Revolution Podcast today. We're going to be talking about a subject that's not easy for me, because it's about transparency, and about being real, and how that can make our faith a little more attractive to those around us if we're willing to be transparent.
Jenn: You're known across the country for your transparency, that's one of the things people love about you. But it's funny, because there's always a deeper level.
Kirk: There is. I guess, how I got to this subject is last year, you and I got invited to the K-LOVE Fan Awards with some friends and we heard the song Maybe It's Okay by Darren Mulligan and We Are Messengers. And so we're sitting here and we're listening to that, and it's the first time I had heard the song, but you had heard it before, right?
Jenn: Right. I was already in love with the song, I had been listening to it for quite a while.
Heartbeat ConferenceKirk: You're way ahead of me on so many things on a deeper level. But listening to the song and he talks about, "Maybe it's okay to be not okay, maybe it's alright if I'm not alright." And I think, wow, that . . . To me, that resonated for some reason, listened to the song a little bit more, and this year, I work with http://heartbeatinternational.org (Heartbeat International), and we had a conference scheduled for Seattle, an in-person conference. Then the COVID epidemic comes up and we have to go virtual. Well, I thought, you know what? Since we have to go virtual and I'm here in Nashville, let me see if I can connect with someone in Nashville who can give a virtual welcome to our audience.
And we had heard Darren and https://g.co/kgs/B9BjS1 (We Are Messengers) at a worship event in DC earlier in the year as well. I reached out on Instagram, and if anybody knows how those messages work, you don't necessarily go to your messages from people who you don't know. But he did, he found my message and said, "So what are you looking for, and who are you?" And I emailed him back, got in touch either through messenger or email, and then it was funny because he got the message on a Saturday, and by Saturday evening he had cut a perfect intro, a perfect welcome for our 1500 folks who were going to be attending virtually. It was just amazing.
Jenn: Well, and we listened to it, and not only that, but as you and I were sitting there listening, we were out on our back porch and we were both in tears listening to what he said in his heart, and it just . . . I'm feeling teary-eyed right now talking about it, because he was real, and it's so awesome when you see someone who is involved in a very public position in worship, and in this case in Christian music, and you realize they're real, and they do care and they do love people and they love the Lord. And that was really precious to me.
Kirk: But in my emails, I said, "Hey, 30 to 45 seconds would be great," and he comes back and he says, "Is it okay if it's a minute and a half?" and I'm like, "Yeah, it's great if it's a minute and a half." And again, I think what really impressed me is he didn't need to give me the time of day. And I wouldn't have felt bad because I know that Christian artists and others get so many requests and they can't say yes to everybody, but he did, and he put his whole heart into it and he captured the heart of our conference perfectly. That just made me say, "Okay... " in fact, I emailed him later,...
Love Your Neighbor
Kirk: This is Kirk.
Jenn: And this is Jenn.
Kirk: And welcome to The Faith Revolution Podcast today. It's going to be an interesting day, because we're going to be talking about loving our neighbor. And when I talk about loving our neighbor, it's easy to say, "Oh, we all know how to do that. We've read the story in the Bible," and all those things, but today we're going to take a different look. And I think it's going to challenge . . . It challenged my perceptions when we looked at it, and I know, as we've talked about it, we've had new things continue to pop up. So I want to jump right in, and I wanto to talk to Jenn and ask her a little bit about loving our neighbor, and how this all began. Just go.
Jenn: Okay. [chuckle] My first moment of thinking, "Oh goodness, we have something different. There's a new way to look at this," was, we were walking down the street in our current neighborhood, and you, Kirk Walden, looked at me and said, "You know, I think, when God says love your neighbor . . ."
Kirk: Yeah. He meant it.
Jenn: He meant it. [chuckle]
Kirk: When Jesus said that, he meant it. And that was just kind of strange--I hadn't thought about that before. But he was not only talking in the big picture. We know the story of the good Samaritan, where he talks about loving your neighbor. But what about our neighbor on the street? And in our previous neighborhood, we didn't have bad relationships, but we just didn't have a lot of connection with our neighbors, did we?
Jenn: No, and just to put it in context, you are an extrovert. You will talk to anyone.
Kirk: I love it. If I go into a store, I'm going to say, "Hey, how you doing?" When I check into a hotel, I get to know people, and all those things. It's just my thing.
Jenn: You're that person where, everybody knows your name. When you go into the post office, or a place where you are a frequent visitor, people know who you are. That is you, Kirk Walden.
Kirk: And at the bank, do I go through the drive through?
Jenn: Oh, heck no.
Kirk: I have to go inside. So, we are, right now, podcasting in the middle of the COVID epidemic, and it's killing me, because I can't go inside the bank. It's all remote, and it's just tough.
Jenn: So that's who you are. I, on the other hand, am an introvert. Some people really don't believe me when I say that, but it's very uncomfortable, for me especially, to converse with someone I don't know. If I know you, we're great, but if I don't know you, it makes me really stressed. So that has been our marriage, and that's been my growth in the last years of being married to you.
Kirk: Well, you say you hide behind me, but when we go out and see people or whatever. But fact of the matter is, when people see you, they are drawn to you, and I think a lot of people, I'm glad you shared that. Because a lot of people, I don't think, realize that you are an introvert. So here we are, in our old neighborhood, rocking along, we end up needing to move.
My mom moves in with us, she had had a stroke, and we need a new place where we can create a landing pad for her. She had been downstairs in a house where most everything is upstairs. She couldn't be going up and down stairs for years, so we needed a new home. Take us from there, Jenn.
Jenn: So, you would think this wouldn't be hard, but we had a lot of needs. We had a lot going on with our home. You work out of our house. When you're not traveling, you're home constantly. We home school. So, that's another component of life. We have older children, so we're constantly entertaining. We're constantly having people come and go. So we had really specific needs for a home.
We looked and looked, we couldn't find one. We put an offer on one house. It was funny because, the house across from Moss Wright Park, we loved that house. But yet, there was something for both of us we weren't sure about, and yet it had the space that we needed. We put an offer in and...
Racial Reconciliation: Jesus Style
For Christians, the story of The Woman at the Well is a favorite because it highlights Jesus’ response of love and respect to someone many might overlook or dismiss.
In the story of the Woman at the Well, Jesus did not dwell on this woman’s past. We don’t dwell on pasts, either. Jesus offered her hope. We do the same.
But Jesus did something else which is well worth emulating. In a sense, Jesus took five action steps which—in our current times--we can adopt, paving the road to racial reconciliation.
The Woman at the Well is also known as The Samaritan Woman. To the Jewish people, Samaritans were not just “different,” they were lesser people. “Good” Jews then, didn’t speak to Samaritans. Nor did they go near Samaritan villages. If a Jew had a straight-line journey taking him through a Samaritan area, he would add hours or days to his journey to go around these communities.
In short, the Jewish view of Samaritans was one of contempt. But this wasn’t one-sided. The Samaritans felt the same way.
In one conversation however, Jesus launched a process that would shift this dynamic, crashing the walls dividing these two cultures.
Jesus’ conversation with The Samaritan Woman began with nothing more than a request for a drink of water. By the end of this story, a large number of Samaritans were following Jesus, a member of the very sect of Jews they despised. Jesus built a bridge of community across a chasm of hate and distrust.
In our conversation, Jenn and Kirk look at Jesus’ five action steps which changed everything.
1-Jesus Went Out of His Way
Jews avoided Samaritans, right? Not Jesus. He made it a point to go through a Samaritan village and he took the initiative to begin a conversation. Not an argument, but a conversation. Today’s culture is full of anger, vitriol and screeds on social media. The Christian community has a golden opportunity to take the initiative to begin conversations in quiet places where peace can reign.
2-Jesus Engaged the Samaritan Woman
Reading John’s account of this story, we find Jesus did a lot of listening. This was no one-way sermon, this was a dialogue where Jesus never reacted but responded in ways which kept the conversation moving forward. Today’s world doesn’t need another “Mic Drop” moment. Instead, we need open communication.
3-Jesus Didn’t Take Sides
When the Samaritan Woman attempted to draw Jesus into a debate over theological issues (“You people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship”), Jesus didn’t take the bait.
Instead of focusing on where to worship, Jesus zeroed in on who to worship. “Believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father.”
This is a fascinating exchange, because while in the next sentence Jesus mentions that “salvation is from the Jews,” He does so while inviting her to inclusion instead of exclusion.
As we engage in conversations, we understand our role is not to take sides but to invite and include. Our world needs this more than ever, right now.
4-Jesus Risked Transparency
When the Samaritan Woman told Jesus she knew “Messiah is coming,” Jesus didn’t hold back, revealing that He was the One she was looking for. Because we’re talking about Jesus, it’s easy to overlook the risk He took with this one declaration.
The Samaritan Woman could have argued with Jesus over this. She could have laughed at His “delusional” view that He was someone special. Or, she could have walked away in dismissal, simply wondering how Jesus knew her background of having five husbands.
The rest of the story shows the potential results of transparency. She went back to her city, proclaiming that she may have met the Messiah. Jesus took a risk, and she was willing to take a risk, too.
Our transparency can be risky. But it can also lead to deeper conversations and sometimes, amazing results.
5-Jesus Invested in The Samaritan Woman’s Community