September 17

SNS 163: Saturday Night Special – Interview with Janey Pitts author of Deeply Defined: Understanding Who You Are in Christ

Inspired Stewardship Podcast, Interview, Saturday Night Special


Join us today for the Saturday Night Special with Janey Pitts author of Deeply Defined: Understanding Who You Are in Christ...

In this episode Janey Pitts and I talk with you about why understanding the language of faith is important to your faith journey...

In tonight’s Saturday Night Special I interview Janey Pitts.  I ask Janey about her faith journey and how she came to write Deeply Defined.  Janey also shares some of the words that she found that surprised her during her research.  Janey also shared how learning to understand these things can lead to a richer life in faith.

Join in on the Chat below.

SNS 163: Saturday Night Special – Interview with Janey Pitts author of Deeply Defined: Understanding Who You Are in Christ

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Welcome to tonight. Saturday night, special episode 163.

[00:00:05] Janey Pitts: I'm Janey Pitts. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to really understand who you are in Christ is key.

[00:00:26] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to. The inspired stewardship podcast with my friend, Scott Maderer.

[00:00:34] I know that faith is this beautiful. He break word called that means stand firm and to be unmoving and unwavering and not to go back and forth. And if I have faith, God, when I'm thinking about and praying for my kids I think I worry less actually.

[00:00:55] Scott Maderer: Welcome and thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship [00:01:00] podcast.

[00:01:00] If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent and your treasures for your true calling in the inspired stewardship podcast, who will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others and develop your influence so that you. Can impact the word.

[00:01:22] And tonight's Saturday night special. I interviewed Janie pits. I asked Janie about her faith journey and how she came to write the book deeply defined Janie. Also share some of the words that she found that surprised her during her research and Janie shares with you. How learning to understand these things can lead to a richer life in.

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[00:02:46] And we help you do that and productivity for your passion. Check it out slash launch. Janie has a journalism degree from Sanford university and a master's degree [00:03:00] from Southwestern Baptist, theological seminar. She has served on church staff for over 15 years. And is the author of deeply defined understanding who you are in Christ.

[00:03:10] Her book deeply defined, takes words. Christians use all the time, but can't really explain like grace, mercy, holiness, et cetera, and lays them out in entertaining and easy to understand bites. Deeply defined uses the Bible's original languages along with biblical culture to help people go deep into God's word, without feeling intimidated.

[00:03:34] It helps the reader apply these concepts to deeply define their lives in Christ. Welcome to the show Janie.

[00:03:43] Janey Pitts: Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here. Absolutely.

[00:03:47] Scott Maderer: I'm glad to have you so Janie, can you share a little bit about your faith journey and what brought you to write the book? Deeply defined.

[00:03:58] I What. That it's [00:04:00] an odd book to, to think about promoting. So what brought you to that? Scott, my story is not that different than probably a lot of other people's. I grew up in a Christian home. I accepted Christ when I was nine. When I was 18, I went off to a Christian college.

[00:04:16] Janey Pitts: I worked different camps over the summers in the summer before my senior year, I felt God called me into the ministry. At that point, because it's the summer before your senior year, you can't exactly change your major so I kept my journalism. You could, but probably

[00:04:32] Scott Maderer: not a good idea,

[00:04:34] Janey Pitts: then you'd have two more fun years of school.

[00:04:36] Yeah. So I did change my minor. Just for fun. I had been taking religion courses, which should have clued me. But it didn't. So I had a journalism, major religion minor, and then I went off to seminary and I got a degree from seminary. And then I got married and I actually married a guy who is in the ministry as well.

[00:04:57] So we have been partners now for a long [00:05:00] time doing that. And a couple of years ago, A group at our church, I was leading them and we did a study called defined that I wrote, because I realized that Christians today, when you ask, Hey what is grace? What is mercy? What is holiness? They know it, but they struggle to actually explain it.

[00:05:21] And I thought it's really important that we know what we believe and why we believe it. And the study was supposed to be six weeks. It ended up being like 12 or 13. I finally was like, guys, we have to move on. But it wouldn't get out of my head. And I felt like the Lord told me to write it in a book so that more people could be equipped to have a deeper understanding of the scriptures because your average, Joe.

[00:05:49] Isn't gonna look at the Greek in the Hebrew or know the first century culture, but I love that stuff. And right now I feel like there's a lot of books out there that are [00:06:00] very maybe stiff and very theological, but they're not for the common man. And so my book. It takes those words, but it's fun. It's conversational.

[00:06:12] So you learn a little bit, you might laugh, you might cry, but hopefully the point is that you'll leave deeper in your walk with the Lord.

[00:06:20] Scott Maderer: It to give the context. So in the book you take these words like grace holiness, holy spirit whatever the Christiane, so to speak. Yes. Christiane the words that we all use and expect everyone to understand what we're talking about.

[00:06:36] Yes. And then you try to give them not just the definition in terms of quote, you looked it up in Webster's dictionary, but the context and some history and what is the meaning of the Greek or the Hebrew or the whatever words they were using at that time and fitted into that wider context.

[00:06:55] Janey Pitts: Yes, that's exactly what I do. I used Bible dictionaries. I used there's [00:07:00] a class in seminary called hermeneutics it teaches you how to really get in and get a hold of and understand. And I always loved. Doing hermeneutics and exegeting passages, which is just digging 'em out excavator, exegete, same thing.

[00:07:16] And so I loved doing that and that's, I just wanted to do that hopefully also to motivate people who read this book and learn things that, Hey, they can do this to, it's not that hard. And I, so I have a background as a Methodist and I'm in a I, what they call a lay servant. I'm actually the conference director for lay servant ministries.

[00:07:38] Scott Maderer: So I teach a lot of classes for lay people and oftentimes the thing I get told when I'm teaching the class is. Wait a minute. How do you know that? And it could be about the history of the church or the history of the Methodist movement. It could be a definitional thing. And I think a lot of very solid Christians that are very involved in the church, very active, [00:08:00] have a strong Christian message, strong Christian life.

[00:08:02] It's. They don't it's, they haven't been taught any of this it's there's no. You can't, you don't, there's no class on it.

[00:08:09] Janey Pitts: right. You're just supposed to know and because if if you're in Sunday school and you grow up and you hear a grace and somebody else starts talking about it, you just nod.

[00:08:21] And you're like, yeah, I of know what that is, but if there's a new believer and they ask you, what is grace. So many people get stopped in their tracks. And so they're scared to talk about it with other people. And we shouldn't be we can talk about our favorite football team or what we did Friday night.

[00:08:39] We should also be able to talk about the most important relationship and the depth of things that we believe in a confident manner. What are a few of your favorite words that you came across as you were doing this research, what are, and I know that's probably like asking someone what their favorite child is.

[00:08:58] Scott Maderer: so yes. [00:09:00] That

[00:09:00] Janey Pitts: actually is true. I do have one word and I'm gonna say it's my favorite because I use it all the time and the word is be still, and there is. In the book, I think I used maybe three or four different be stills to contrast and compare and just show summer Greek, summer Hebrew.

[00:09:19] But my favorite one is found in Psalms 46, 10. That's probably the most famous be still and no but the word is raw and what it is. And Scott just played with me a minute. Okay. So put your hands in. Like you're about to fight. Okay. And squeeze as tight as you can. And I listener, I want you to do that too.

[00:09:38] Squeeze as tight as you can. I want you to feel it in your forearms. I want you to feel it in your biceps. I want you to feel it even in your shoulders. Squeeze squeeze. Okay. Now let go. Okay, that letting go is Rafa. That's the picture of that Hebrew is this ancient language. There's only about 8,000 Hebrew words in the old Testament.

[00:09:57] So one word means about [00:10:00] 15 to 20 different things, but that be still in Psalms 46, 10 is a picture of cease fighting of relax. Let go. And what's even cooler. Is that that one that be still is paired with be still and no. And in Hebrew the biblical culture to know was to experience something in our culture today.

[00:10:24] We think, oh I study math or I studied for a test or I heard the news, so I know it, but that's only head. It's only head knowledge it's cerebral. And the Hebrewic sense of knowing in the Bible is experiencing with your whole being. So this be still and no is to let go cease, fighting, whatever it is.

[00:10:47] If it's thoughts or insecurities or whatever you let it go. And then you're also after you release if your hands are in a fist, like you're gonna fight and you open 'em up, you're now in a [00:11:00] posture of worship. So you're ready to know you're ready to experience. So that is my absolute favorite out of all of the 50, some odd words that I did.

[00:11:10] Yeah. So

[00:11:11] Scott Maderer: why do you think that's your

[00:11:13] Janey Pitts: favorite. Because I like to hang onto stuff and I like to be in control and I like good plans and my plans, aren't always God's plans. And plus I have two kids you talk about having to be still and no, you've gotta let go. So I, yeah, that's, it's very practical for me.

[00:11:35] It's a very real thing that I can do. Yeah, like literally 10 minutes before we got. The call to, to talk today. Somebody had posted a meme of the like someone peeking around the corner of a door and the caption was me checking on those things that I told God I'd let go and let him handle.

[00:11:54] Scott Maderer: Yes. Yes. Let me just one more time. I just how's that going? Yeah I think a [00:12:00] lot of us. Can feel that feeling of having a difficult time letting go of things. It, and I also think the no part is interesting because like you said, it's more of a relational or experiment or experiential kind of knowledge, not just a head knowledge

[00:12:16] Janey Pitts: that it's, I implied it's not just cerebral.

[00:12:18] Yeah.

[00:12:20] Scott Maderer: So were there, how about let's go a different direction? Were there any words that when you found out what they meant in context, you were. Wait a minute. that? That's not where I thought or we use it differently now, maybe it's well, I don't know that we use it differently, but I had no idea where it came from.

[00:12:38] Janey Pitts: The word glory is a word that do you hear people even explain oh, glory or whatever. I had no idea. I thought she kind of glory. I was like, is that a glowy thing? What is this? And the etymology, which is just a big word for where something came from the etymology in Hebrew for the word glory comes from battle [00:13:00] armaments, and you can actually see this.

[00:13:02] In a couple of Psalms. And once you understand that and read the Psalm, it deepens the Psalm, but it means heavy or weighty or important. And so when we talk about the glory of God, we talk about the weight of who he is. We talk about the importance of who he is and it's God's glory can be seen and felt by us, which is Shekina glory, which actually Shekina glory isn't even in the Bible.

[00:13:30] That's a term that. The rabbis coin and it means that which dwells. And so we see that in Exodus with the pillar of the cloud and the pillar of fire. And we see Shahana glory all over, but it's when God dwells with his people and you feel the weight and importance of him. But I just thought that was the coolest thing ever.

[00:13:49] Scott Maderer: So did you come across anywhere? Maybe you felt with the context there was. Either, I don't know if use it different is really the right way that [00:14:00] I'm going after, but at least it just, it gave it a richer. And I think Gloria would be an example of this. It gave a richer meaning or a different meaning beyond perhaps the surface level that we tend to do it.

[00:14:11] We tend to use it.

[00:14:12] Janey Pitts: Maybe I talk about, I differentiate between sin is an overarching term, but then you, it also Bible talks about transgressions or trespass the same thing. And then it talks about iniquity and. I always just thought, okay, they're all really bad things, but they actually are distinct.

[00:14:32] And that's why they're used in different ways. The word iniquity, the etymology comes from something that is twisted or crooked and it is taking something that was meant to be good and turning it and making it evil and vile. And so that's one that probably went a lot deeper for me that I thought was maybe an inch deep and it actually.

[00:14:56] Half a mile.

[00:14:58] Scott Maderer: yeah. You entered into [00:15:00] going, I already know what this oh, nevermind.

[00:15:02] Janey Pitts: Yes. That's a really bad word. Yes.

[00:15:06] Scott Maderer: I guess maybe I didn't know. It. I was talking about after all. So how how has this study and by the way, for everyone that I experienced that a lot when I'm dealing with the Bible where it's oh yeah I got this passage.

[00:15:18] I understand. . No. Nevermind. Okay. I didn't understand it. Nevermind. Yes. Yeah. Cuz if you start doing some research and there are good resources out there to do research and not

[00:15:30] Janey Pitts: Wiki don't use Wiki. No, don't use Wiki. Don't use Wiki. Don't use Wiki. But there, again, talk to you if. If you're if you're a lay person and you're curious about this, talk to your pastor, talk to, yes, somebody who's been done, some deeper research.

[00:15:45] Scott Maderer: There's really actually approachable researches. And I put yours on the list of ones I'm gonna share with other lay people as something that's an approachable resource, because thank you like you, there are a lot of theological PA books that you could find. That are not affordable [00:16:00] resources. No, , don't buy one of those.

[00:16:03] It'll just frustrate you . So yeah, no yours definitely would fall in that list of approachable ones. So what, how has this study and doing this work and writing the book, how has it actually affected your own approach to the Bible and worship? And as a minister, someone called a ministry how has it approached?

[00:16:21] How has it affected. That part of your life?

[00:16:24] Janey Pitts: Huge. I feel like I have a deeper understanding of what the Bible says when I read it. And I read these words. I there's over 50 words that I defined in this book. And so when I stumble on one in scripture, I know what it means. A lot of times I know what the etymology is and it takes it to a different level.

[00:16:48] It takes it to a level where maybe it wouldn't have been applied to my life that I now can go, oh, I okay. Wow. I see how that applies. And so it's really made a difference, [00:17:00] even just in church. When I sing worship songs, when we sing about grace or we sing about holiness or we sing about mercy, I really know what I'm singing about.

[00:17:10] And so I have a deeper thankfulness in worship when I'm coming to the Lord and talking about those words. So it actually has been huge for me. How do you think it's affected? You mentioned earlier, you got two kids yeah. You think it's affected your life as a mom and as a wife and the non ministry part of your life.

[00:17:35] it has again, it's helped me apply scriptures to my life like that. Be still and no, before I think I would've thought, oh, be still, I just need to sit here and pray. No, that's not what it is with my kids. I've gotta, I've gotta let go. I've gotta trust the Lord. I know that faith is this beautiful Hebraic word called Mina.

[00:17:57] That means stand firm and. [00:18:00] To be unmoving and unwavering and not to go back and forth. And if I have faith in God, when I'm thinking about and praying for my kids I think I worry less actually really about that. So it, it has made a big difference just in my everyday life.

[00:18:18] Scott Maderer: So if somebody has heard us talking about the book and and again, like I said I've bought a copy and this is gonna be one that I'm gonna recommend to other lay people, especially that, that want to understand some of these deeper.

[00:18:31] How are some of the ways that you've seen people use the book? Either whether it's individual small you mentioned the screw out of a small group study, so I assume that's a relevant use. How have you seen it used.

[00:18:43] Janey Pitts: Yes. There's actually three different ways that this book could be used.

[00:18:47] And that's a God thing, cuz I did not do this on purpose. I originally just thought, okay, this can be a study. It's 30 chapters. And on my website I have. [00:19:00] Free resources for people to turn it into a small group. So you would read five chapters and then come together. You can download that free resource and talk about it and do it as a six week Bible study.

[00:19:11] And I love that because you really, I think you learn more when you come together because you have different views, different things popped out to people. Somebody may bring a scripture that I didn't even think to apply to, that they did, that somebody in the group will get something out of. So that's one way, another way that I never thought of, and a friend told me that he did is he used it as a quiet time guide for a month.

[00:19:35] And he read a chapter a day and he read, he got my book in the Bible and every time he found something, he would look up a verse in his Bible and underline it, maybe read the verses around it. And a couple of people have done that. And then the other way is just to read it like a normal book just the, a normal chapter book.

[00:19:53] However you wanna do that. So there's really those three different ways that you you can attack it. And I just, [00:20:00] again, People to do whatever is gonna get the information ingrained in them the most.

[00:20:07] Scott Maderer: I'm gonna add a fourth way for you. Oh, awesome. The, because again, coming at this as somebody who teaches other lay people, yes.

[00:20:16] Another way that I can see this used is for if you are in a position of being a lay person that is in leadership, or perhaps does some pulpit fill or lectionary where you're standing at the front of the church and you're reading the scripture, I would recommend this. As an additional tool to use to help you understand.

[00:20:37] Cause I think when we read the scripture I love it when people sing like joyful, joyful, and it's like joyful it's it's so sad. It's yeah. Really speaking out about the joy of the Lord there and same thing happens when we read a lot of times, if we don't understand the context, don't understand the meaning.

[00:20:56] It's hard to put the feeling and the emotion into it. [00:21:00] That's there. So I can see using this as a support tool for when you're doing leadership. And you haven't been through seminary, so you don't have that context you don't have that right. That background. So I'm not sure if that's another way, but I,

[00:21:14] Janey Pitts: I can, I love that.

[00:21:16] I love yes. Use it for that.

[00:21:19] Scott Maderer: it's that's got your seal of approval. Okay. yes, it does. But before I move on, there's a few questions that I want to. You that I ask all my guests, but before I move on to that, are there any, anything else from the book that you think is important that folks understand or learn?

[00:21:33] Before we move on to those questions?

[00:21:36] Janey Pitts: Yes. I really wanted the book to be reader friendly and used as a resource for people to keep close by so that they could pull it out if they are reading a word in their Bible and they forgot what that word meant. So instead of having to flip through and find where you highlighted or hunt for the chapter in the very back of the book, there's a glossary of every word that I defined and it's an alphabetical order.

[00:21:59] [00:22:00] And so you. Flip to the back, open it up. And it's a quick reference for you as you study God's word. Yeah. And see, that's

[00:22:08] Scott Maderer: the tool that I can see using and be useful for the example that I just said is so perfect. Yes. So let me and this may or may not have been a word that you defined in the book.

[00:22:19] I, I haven't found it. I haven't finished the books. I it's, it may be in there, but I haven't finished. But I like to ask all my guests my brand has inspired stewardship. I run things through that lens of stewardship. Yes. So for you, what does the word stewardship mean? And what has its impact been on your life?

[00:22:36] Janey Pitts: Yes. And this is a word that I missed Scott. I missed it. So I guess deeply defined too is gonna have to hit it. But stewardship to me means manag. All of your resources. I think some people stop at just money, but I think it's, I think it is money, but it's also your time, your talents, your health. I think it is serving God with your entire life because [00:23:00] we're called to be faithful and being faithful means that we are gonna live lives of obedience and action.

[00:23:07] And you can't do that if you are not. actively being a good steward of your relationship with Christ. So stewardship is huge in our faith walk

[00:23:19] Scott Maderer: And what do you think the impact of that understanding has been on your life?

[00:23:22] Janey Pitts: I went into the ministry because of it. and I think it's one of those things I had mentioned earlier that both my husband and I are in the ministry.

[00:23:32] It's not just a job. Our faith is a way of life. And so when we brought up our kids who we are at churches, who we are at home, which is who we are with friends, which is who we are, wherever we go and. You can't turn stewardship on and off. It's got to be a constant flow of that. Living water flowing through us to other [00:24:00] people and stewarding it, stewarding the living water, I guess is just aiming it, right?

[00:24:04] Cuz it's not our power. It's God power in us and it's aiming it towards others to let them see who Jesus is. Yeah, it's I love that. I like. That image as well. So here's my favorite question though. Oftentimes my guests tell me it's their least favorite question. Cause I think it's hard.

[00:24:27] Scott Maderer: If I invented this magic machine and I could pluck you out of the chair where you set today and transport you into the future. A hundred, 150, 200 years. And through the power of this machine, you were able to look back on your life and see all of the ripples, all of the impacts, all of the connections that you've left behind.

[00:24:46] What impact do you hope you've left behind on the world? I.

[00:24:49] Janey Pitts: With the people I know, I hope they felt loved. I hope they felt loved by me and loved by God through me. I also [00:25:00] hope that somehow some way that I made a difference in people's spiritual life, cuz I think that's what really matters is that their faith was deepened or they were encouraged or they saw Jesus from a different perspective because I.

[00:25:16] If I, it was 200 years in the future and I was looking back, the only thing that really matters is what we do for the Lord. And so that's what I would hope is that it, it made a difference for Christ. and that is a hard question. yeah, I know.

[00:25:32] Scott Maderer: I jokingly usually call it the easy question.

[00:25:34] Yes though. I've had guests before where that was an easy question and other questions were hard, so it's all relative, I think sometimes too. So what's on the roadmap. What's coming next for you, as you continue on this.

[00:25:48] Janey Pitts: Yes. I love doing just some speaking and retreats and things like that.

[00:25:54] I can do one night. I can do a whole weekend. I just did a weekend this past weekend with a bunch of ladies in Tennessee and it was so [00:26:00] much fun. And so I would love to do that more to talk about deeply defined. There's, like I said, there's 50 words. There's a lot of things that we could do with retreats around that.

[00:26:11] So I think it's fun. I loved writing about it, but I also love talking about it because when you do you get to get in conversation with people and specific things that they're wondering if I don't know the answer to, I can at least find and let them know which I think is cool. So that's the next thing on my roadmap.

[00:26:33] Scott Maderer: It's probably right in the second book as you go to. Cause it's ask for more, like I said, stewardship, you're like, I didn't do that one here's book two, is all the question, all the words that we ask you about that you didn't define. That's right. So you can follow Janie on Facebook and Instagram as official Janie Pitts.

[00:26:53] That's J a N E Y P I TTS. And you can find out more about Janie [00:27:00] and her book over on her Of course, I'll have a link to all of those over in the show notes as well. Janie, is there anything else you'd like to share with the listen?

[00:27:10] Janey Pitts: Yes, they can find the book on Amazon Barnes, noble book, Samilian, and probably other places too.

[00:27:19] But the neat thing is on Amazon. If you hit the click and side button, you actually can read the first two chapters. So hopefully it'll hook you and it'll make you want the book. But if not, you can at least learn that it's not your jam, but hopefully it will be. And it'll interest you. Thanks so much.

[00:27:37] Thank you.

[00:27:39] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the inspired stewardship podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this. Please do us a favor. [00:28:00] Go over to inspired rate.

[00:28:06] All one word iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your. Until next time, invest your time, your talent and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact the world.

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I know that faith is this beautiful Hebraic word  called emuna that means stand firm to be unmoving and unwavering and not to go back and forth and if I have faith in God when I’m thinking about and praying for my kids I think I worry less actually.  – Janey Pitts

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Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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