Can I Delight In God? With Stephanie Rousselle [Episode 157]

Delight God Stephanie Rousselle

When you delight in something, what does that look like? Well, I delight in coffee, and I can tell you it’s a wonderful thing! I just can’t get enough! You know how that feels, right?

But what would it look like to delight in God?

Today on the 4:13 Podcast, fellow podcaster Stephanie Rousselle joins me and talks about knowing God and delighting in Him. She helps us see that you can glorify God simply by delighting in Him, and in your delight, you get to know Him—personally and intimately.

Now, isn’t that encouraging?

Well this conversation with Stephanie is packed with encouragement and bursting with beautiful insights, and I can’t wait for you to hear it!

Stephanie came to Christ from French atheism, and she’s now the founder of Gospel Spice Ministries. Born and raised in France, she has lived on three continents, four countries and five cities through six professional roles. She is a wife, mom, podcaster, speaker, Bible teacher, former women’s ministry director, and strategy consultant. She’s also the host of the Gospel Spice Podcast, and she’s about to sprinkle all sorts of flavor into your faith. Her motto is, “God’s glory, our delight!” which is my prayer for you as you listen to this conversation.

So, pour your French roast coffee and get ready to enjoy the wisdom Stephanie shares with us with her beautiful French accent.

Jennifer’s Highlights and Take-Aways

From French Atheism to Christ

Stephanie described how she was born in France to a middle-class French family. That meant the two priorities she had were food and learning. She also explained that as she was growing up, the study of intellectual postmodern atheism was a big part of her life.

As a high schooler, Stephanie came to America as a foreign exchange student to learn English. However, it was from her host family that she learned about the true person of Christ for the first time.

Through the prayers of her host family—a year-long process—she discovered that Jesus was not actually the person who had been presented to her in her atheist books.

From this experience, Stephanie learned the importance of not just reading what your worldview tells you about another person’s worldview, which can lead to a distorted interpretation. Instead, she encouraged us to read the other person’s worldview firsthand—their perspective from their pen.

When she read about Christianity from Christian writers, it opened her eyes to understand more clearly the claims of Christ.

She discovered that what her atheist heroes were telling her about Jesus was not an accurate portrayal of the Jesus we read about in the Bible. And when she realized the intellectual integrity of the Bible and the Gospel—that the resurrection was a historical fact—she couldn’t ignore it.

So, Stephanie described how she gave God a “lame story” saying, “I’m terrified of surrendering my life to You because I don’t know if I can trust You.” But at this point in her story, being an outsider looking in was not enough. So she told God she would step inside His story.

Stephanie laughed at her own pride as she described how she told God that she would give Him a week. “For one week …” she said, “I’ll believe in You and trust You … but I reserve the right to take my life back.”

Oh, but sister, Stephanie discovered for herself that it doesn’t matter how we come to Him.

God will meet us where we are,” she said. “He does not expect a standard of perfection or maturity, and He welcomes any seeking heart.”

Psalm 113:4-6 says He “stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth.” Stephanie explained that God met her in her arrogance and gave her peace within her struggle to surrender.

Five years later, she realized she never noticed that the week she gave God was up. And by then she was sold out—all in! “Once you have tasted the beauty of Christ, there’s no going back,” she said.

Understanding Culture

Stephanie has lived all over the world, and cross-cultural living has been transformative for her. She explained that it gives you the ability to view your own culture from a new perspective and realize how much your own culture influences you.

She has learned to decipher the differences in cultures from within a culture. And learning about a culture is what helped her meet with the people of that culture on their turf to understand them better.

And speaking of different cultures, Stephanie’s cross-cultural experiences taught her to become intentional about reading Scripture with its cultural context in mind.

She explained that when you open Scripture, it’s as if you’re hopping on a spiritual plane and entering into a different time and culture. Although the truths in Scripture apply to us today and are timeless, understanding the correct cultural context is necessary to accurately understand the Bible.

Reading Scripture in French

Stephanie described how her knowledge of the French language gives her a deeper understanding of the English Bible.

For example, there are two words in the French language used for our one English phrase, “to know.” One means to know God (experiential knowledge) and the other means to know about God (intellectual knowledge).

As a cross-cultural, multi-language Bible geek, Stephanie said the word “know” shows up in her French Bible over 1000 times—with 300 of those referring to head-knowledge, but over 700 of them pointing to a more relational knowing.

Philippians 3:10 is a perfect example of this! When Paul says he wants to “know” Christ, the word he uses speaks of knowing Him intimately, not intellectually.

And while an intellectual quest for knowledge can be good, “there is a kind of truth that intellect alone can’t grasp,” she said.

Stephanie concluded that God desires a relationship. In the same way that someone becomes a connoisseur experientially and intimately, we are to be “Jesus connoisseurs” in that we know Him intimately—not just know information about Him.

Another great example of where the word “know” shows up in Scripture is in the Garden of Eden, and her explanation of this is just fascinating! But … you must listen to her explain it in the podcast, or read it in the transcript below!

Delighting in God

The word “delight” has more depth in French than in English. Stephanie defined it as “any feast for the body, mind, or spirit.”

The word in French means both delight and deliciousness all at once, and God is both delightful and delicious at the spiritual level. Isn’t that interesting?

Stephanie encourages us to make God our delight. He had this in mind when He created us, and “to delight in the glory of God is the most freeing thing in the world,” she said.

She explained that when we delight in Him, we experience freedom … freedom from pride, selfishness, being a control freak, etc. Our delight helps us embrace the process of God transforming us into the person He created us to be, and through that, we get to step into the fullness of what God has planned for us.

Wow! Can you imagine experiencing this kind of freedom and fulfillment?

Stephanie concluded with a statement that is both beautiful and true—and even more beautiful when spoken with her rich French accent. She said, “God delights in our delight of Him, and that’s how we bring Him glory. We don’t add to His glory—we become part of this eternal dance of life to acknowledge His glory.”

Amen, sister! May we all delight in God as we join in that dance.

It’s true that God delights when we delight in Him. He doesn’t need us to delight in Him, but He is glorified in our delight and is delighted in us through His Son.

Doesn’t that just sound … delightful?

So, take some time today to pause, savor, delight, and experience the beauty of God. It will bless you and it will bless God. And remember, you can know God—and you can delight in Him—because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

Related Resources

Books & Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild

More from Stephanie Rousselle

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Episode Transcript


4:13 Podcast: Can I Delight In God? With Stephanie Rousselle [Episode 157]

Stephanie Rousselle: That will give you an interesting perspective, because that's what happened to me. I discovered that what my atheist heroes were telling me about Jesus was actually not the Jesus of the Bible.

Jennifer Rothschild: Podcaster Stephanie Rousselle says that to delight in the glory of God is the most freeing thing in the world. Have you ever thought of that? Well, today that's what we're going to do, we're going to think about that together. And you're about to enter into a whole new world with my friend Stephanie Rousselle. She came to Christ from French atheism, and this conversation is just bursting with beautiful insights. She's the host of the Gospel Spice Podcast and she's about to sprinkle all sorts of flavor into your faith. So get ready to learn as much as I did and enjoy everything that Stephanie shares with her beautiful French accent. Bonjour, K.C.

K.C. Wright: Au bonjour. Je m'appelle K.C. Voulez-vous un podcast?

Jennifer Rothschild: Oooo. I have no idea what you said.

K.C. Wright: My name is K.C. Would you like to podcast?

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, yes, I would. Would you like to introduce this thing?

K.C. Wright: Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and Biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Now your host, a woman who can drink her body weight in coffee -- true story -- Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. And that amount of coffee is increasing with every pound. But I will say, in honor of today's podcast, I'm drinking French roast.

K.C. Wright: Ohhhhhhh.

Jennifer Rothschild: Ohhhhhhh.

K.C. Wright: Oui, oui.

Jennifer Rothschild: Here's the thing, I don't know -- I know no French whatsoever, and I must say, listening to Stephanie, oh. I mean, she could have just been shallow and, you know, shared her grocery list and I would have been moved to tears because her accent's beautiful. But, y'all, the content --

K.C. Wright: Oh, wow.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- the depth of what she shared, you're just going to love it.

K.C. Wright: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: You're just going to want to, you know, swim in every word. That's how I felt. But I got to tell you, K.C., listening to her made me just want to jump on a plane and go to France, because -- I've been one time.

K.C. Wright: Yeah, same here.

Jennifer Rothschild: Even in Paris?

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: OK, I loved it.

K.C. Wright: Yeah, me too.

Jennifer Rothschild: What was your favorite part?

K.C. Wright: Well, I mean, this was back before smartphones and all this. This was in the 90's when I got to go. But I went up in a hot air balloon over Paris, France, and I don't have one picture to prove that.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, that stinks.

K.C. Wright: But we were on a missions trip. We flew into de Gaulle, Paris. And I remember going on a hike with this tour guide, and I came up to this beautiful castle and I went, "Oh, my word, look at the castle." And he said, "That's not the castle, that's the horse stables. Here's the castle." And I turned and it was a legit fairytale storybook castle with the moat, the bridge --

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow.

K.C. Wright: -- the pillars, the towers, the -- oh, my word.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow, K.C.

K.C. Wright: But we stayed in a chateau for two nights.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, how lovely.

K.C. Wright: Our flight got bumped on TWA. They bumped our flight, they overbooked it, so they put us up in the chateau.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, my gosh.

K.C. Wright: And it was my first missions trip. I'm in a tub, with bubbles up to my earlobes, going, "Lord, if this is the missions field, I am so called. Thank you, Lord."

Jennifer Rothschild: That's awesome. Well, it's funny, K.C., my whole feeling about Paris, it was all about the cappuccinos and the croissants. That's pretty much it for me. But here's what's funny, too, when I hear you say that. You know, we live in Missouri, our friends, and we've got a lot of cities in Missouri that evidently were named after cities --

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- you know, or places in France.

K.C. Wright: Mm-hmm.

Jennifer Rothschild: But people in Missouri, they can't speak it right. So we got Versailles --

K.C. Wright: Versailles, Missouri.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- instead of Versailles

K.C. Wright: Uh-huh.

Jennifer Rothschild: We got Monet --

K.C. Wright: Monet.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- instead of Monet. Yeah. We're just doing our best over here, people. We are just doing our best.

K.C. Wright: I've heard in Kansas City they -- now, I don't -- I'll have to Google this after the podcast. Or DuckDuckGo, whichever you prefer. But I heard that Kansas City has more water fountains, beautiful water fountains --

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, really?

K.C. Wright: -- than Paris, France.

Jennifer Rothschild: I did not know that.

K.C. Wright: Well...

Jennifer Rothschild: And it's a lot cheaper to travel to K.C. than Paree.

K.C. Wright: Three hours from us.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's right. OK. Well, I hope you guys know this is going to be such a deep and rich conversation. I'm so excited for you to meet my friend Stephanie.

K.C. Wright: Stephanie Rousselle is the founder of Gospel Spice Ministries. Her motto is God's Glory, Our Delight. Born and raised in France, she has lived on three continents, four countries, and five cities through six professional roles.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow.

K.C. Wright: She's a wife, mom, podcaster, speaker, Bible teacher, former women's ministry director and strategy consultant, and she's 100 percent French. And today she's a 4:13er, y'all. So pour your French roast coffee and enjoy this rich conversation with Jennifer and Stephanie Rousselle.

Jennifer Rothschild: Stephanie, I'm so happy my friends get to meet you, because I loved being on your Gospel Spice podcast and I just got a teeny bit of your story. So that's why I'm so excited to hear today some of your story, because I love your vantage point from where you have come and where you are now. So French atheism to faith, that's quite a journey. So would you tell us -- like, unpack that for us. What was it like to where you are now?

Stephanie Rousselle: Yes. Thank you. It's so fun to be here with you today, Jennifer. So as you can hear right away -- right? -- I'm not American. I'm French. And I grew up -- I was born and I was raised in France. I grew up in a small town, you know, in the Bordeaux wine country, which I think is a slice of heaven on earth. And I grew up in a very typical middle class French family, and that means that the two priorities in life that we had were food and learning. And in our case, I think one of the big flavors of our life was intellectual postmodern atheism. And I remember that food was a big part of our life. I remember eating fresh baguettes in my grandma's kitchen. She was helping with homework. It was science, philosophy, math, Latin, and French, of course, because French is actually a very difficult language to learn, just like English actually. So my English was really bad, and I wanted to have a business career. And I thought I needed English, so I came to the U.S. as a foreign exchange student for my senior year of high school. And lo and behold, what I did not expect was that beyond learning English, I was introduced to the claims and to the person of Jesus Christ for the very first time. And so through this amazing love and the prayers of my host family, that I've learned to call my American mom and dad to this day, it was a year-long process where I discovered that Jesus was not actually the person that had been described to me in my atheist books. And I discovered that it's really important, when you want to understand someone else's worldview, to read and to listen to not what your worldview tells you about their worldview, but actually read their worldview's perspective. So if you want to find out about faith from an atheist perspective, read books written by people of faith. Don't read atheist books about faith because that's going to be a distorted worldview. And actually, it works for us Christians, too. If you want to discover, say, I don't know, Buddhism, read Christian books about Buddhism for sure, but also read Buddhist books about Buddhism because that will give you an interesting perspective. Because that's what happened to me, I discovered that what my atheist heroes were telling me about Jesus was actually not the Jesus of the Bible. And so I pretty quickly came to this very uncomfortable position of realizing that the resurrection was a historical fact, which for an atheist is a very uncomfortable place to be, to say the least.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Stephanie Rousselle: And so I was also very prideful and arrogant, which I think is very French. My husband would tell you we're genetically -- we love food and we're pretty prideful. And so that and I came -- you know, after I realized that the resurrection was real, I could have chosen to ignore it and shove it in a corner of my life and just forget about it, but I think truth can be very uncomfortable if you refuse to face it. And God had kindly -- in his goodness, oh my, he had wired me with a desire for intellectual integrity, and for me that had meant atheism. But now that I'm at this crossroads realizing the resurrection is a fact, what am I going to do about it? And so I gave God the most lame story ever, I think, or something like that. I told him, OK, God, I think you exist, but I'm terrified of surrendering my life to you because I don't know if I can trust you. It's one thing to believe you were raised from the dead, it's another to believe you're trustworthy.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Yeah.

Stephanie Rousselle: And I like to say -- you know, I love chocolate. And if you've never tasted good-quality French, European chocolate, you've never really had chocolate, with all due respect. And I can tell you this, but if you've never actually tasted good chocolate, you're never going to know. There comes a point where you have to taste and see that the Lord is good. And so it meant that I had to taste, I had to take a bite and see if I liked it or not. Being an outsider looking in was not enough anymore, and so I told God, OK, I'm going to taste for one week. For one week I'm going to experience from the inside what it's like to believe in you and to trust you. But you know what, God, if I don't like it, I reserve the right to take my life back. Can you hear the arrogance?

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, arrogance and ignorance, there's just a fine line. You probably just really didn't know what you didn't know at that point, yeah.

Stephanie Rousselle: Exactly. And, you know, that tells me that God will meet us where we are.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

Stephanie Rousselle: He does not expect a standard of perfection or maturity, he just -- he welcomes any seeking hearts. And so for me, it came with massive conditions, and in his humility and his meekness, he actually met me in my arrogance. And so about five years later or so -- so I experienced this massive peace when I was able to stop fighting intellectually what I had been known -- what I had known to be true for some time, but I was refusing to accept it because of, again, my pride. And so the relief, Jennifer, the peace that comes when you finally surrender to what you know is true and you experience the loving embrace of your Father, even if you don't have words for it, it gives me goosebumps even almost 30 years later. And so about five years later, here I am telling the story to a friend and she asked me the most obvious question, what happened at the end of the week?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, I was wondering too.

Stephanie Rousselle: Right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Stephanie Rousselle: And I looked at her and I went, "Oh my goodness, I never realized that the week is up."

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh. That's beautiful.

Stephanie Rousselle: And by then I was all sold out, right? I mean, there was no going back. And once you've tasted the spiritual chocolate of Scripture, the beauty of Christ, the peace of surrender, there's just no going back. Those flavors are there to stay and nothing else will satisfy, so...

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow, that -- Stephanie, that is beautiful. And I appreciate -- you know, it reminded me -- some of what you shared reminded me of C.S. Lewis. You know, he described himself as the most reluctant convert in England.

Stephanie Rousselle: In England? Yep.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Stephanie Rousselle: Actually, I use that sentence to -- that's crazy you're mentioning it because it's one of the sentences that has stuck with me that I actually use. I like to say that I was probably the most reluctant convert in all of France at the time, but God meets us there. So, yeah, that's exactly right.

Jennifer Rothschild: And I also love that you describe, Stephanie, His meekness and humility. You know, it reminds me of a Scripture in Psalms where he stoops down low to meet us. It's just a beautiful picture of our God. And I love your story. It gives so many hope. I have a friend right now whose son is just really questioning faith and the historicity of Christ, just -- you know, because it's always an unraveling when you begin to go down that road. And your story is such a comfort to those who may be seeking or to those who love somebody who is seeking. And you remind us of the grip of God on a human heart. And thank you for that, because your life is beautiful. And so let's go from that point. I know you've lived all around the world, and so -- I think this is fascinating. So I want to know where you've lived and how did all those different cultures and the different languages inform your understanding of your new faith in Scripture as you grew?

Stephanie Rousselle: That's such a good question. I thought I was going to live in France most of my life, but God had other plans. And once you surrender to him, you learn to trust him, right? And so after Paris, my husband and I -- my husband is from North Africa. And so we ended up moving there where we stayed for about ten years, and that's where I became a mom. And then we moved to the south of the U.S. for a couple of years. We've also lived in the U.K., in London, for quite some time following my husband's job. And we've been in Pennsylvania now for just about five years. And so that means, because we're French, that here in the States we are still living cross-culturally.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Stephanie Rousselle: And, you know, multiple cross-cultural exposures for the last 20, 25 years of my life, I have to say, it really, I think, transforms anyone for the better. Because when you're plucked out of your own culture, I think it's really the best way to take a step back and view your own culture with a new perspective, because you don't know how much your home culture influences you until you are plucked out of it. For me, that happened when I came to the U.S. as a 16-year-old French girl, and then again when I moved to a very Middle Eastern cultured North Africa, and then the south of the U.S. is honestly nothing like Pennsylvania today.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Stephanie Rousselle: Yeah. And then London is also a very different melting pot. And so I've learned -- how can I say this? -- to decipher culture in order to meet with the people with the food, with the language. And also I've learned to pluck out of my own culture the things that I'm realizing I don't actually like from my culture, but to also learn to keep the ones that I love, and then doing the same thing with Scripture. Because, you know, whenever I would get off the plane and land in the States or land in North Africa, I knew I was stepping into a different culture. The sounds, the smells, the people, everything was different. And we forget that we do the same thing every time we hop onto a spiritual plane when we open the pages of Scripture. We forget that we are entering into a different time, a different culture. And there's a lot that as 21st century Westerners we can learn from Scripture, obviously.

Jennifer Rothschild: Sure. Yeah.

Stephanie Rousselle: But there's also a layer that when we have the right cultural grid, it just takes us deeper. For me, after having lived almost ten years in North Africa, I was able to decipher nuances of their culture that I wasn't able to decipher at first, and to incorporate some of them in my own life. And then language, it's the same way. The fact that I have the blessing of having French and English, it gives me a depth of flavor into my experience of Scripture that maybe having only French or only English might not bring, because language is such an integral gateway into the culture.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I want to hop onto that because -- well, first of all before I ask you this, I love that. What you're recommending is that we -- as we read Scripture, we never neglect the context, the cultural context within which it was written and how a Middle Eastern hearer would have heard it. Like when Paul was writing a letter to Corinth, we need to remember that those people had that 1st century Greek influence and -- I mean, that's so important. So thank you for that reminder, because that's what helps Scripture come to life for us. But you said something about language, Stephanie. OK. So because you are French -- and I love your accent, by the way. It is just so beautiful. So teach us Americans, or those of us who don't speak French, something from the Bible in French that we -- you know, because we speak English -- may have overlooked or missed.

Stephanie Rousselle: Mmm, so good. You know, first it just tickles me to no end that Americans love the French accent. I've tried to get rid of my accent for 20-some years until I realized that Americans really like it. And it just cracks me up. And, you know, there's just this subcurrent of American culture -- right? -- that somehow thinks that all things French are maybe a little bit more, I don't know, elegant--

Jennifer Rothschild: Ooh la-la?

Stephanie Rousselle: -- maybe a little bit more -- yeah. Something, right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Stephanie Rousselle: We have this -- you know, the French and the Americans, we have this very complicated love story. But, you know, like, what's the only thing that's better than vanilla or toast? Well, French vanilla and French toast, right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. You're so right. I love that.

Stephanie Rousselle: That just -- I love this, I just love this, so -- and, you know, I absolutely love your podcast, 4:13. And Philippians 4:13 is not my verse, but my verse is very close. It's Philippians 3:10. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and, yes, even the fellowship in his sufferings. But I want to know Christ and whatever it takes to know him. And that's where the French actually comes to the rescue, because in French we have two words for your one English word "to know." We have one word for "head knowledge" and then we have another word for "experiential knowledge." And so just very briefly, the first word we have, you actually already know it because you use the French expression "savoir faire," which means "know how." So "savoir" means to know about something. It's that intellectual reason. It's facts and it's knowledge. So I think the word "to know" in English is used over a thousand times in Scripture. And in French, 300 or so of those times are the French word "savoir," which is "head knowledge." So it has to do with historical facts like, I don't know, in 1st Samuel or in the Chronicles. It has to do with the wisdom of the Book of Proverbs when Solomon challenges us to know of the dangers of evil and he's telling us, don't experience them firsthand. And that's great news, right? In the New Testament, in the Book of Acts Luke tells us a lot about that word "savoir," "to know," when -- there's this very famous passage on Mars Hill when Paul is asked by the Athenians. They are saying, you know, we want to learn about this new teaching that you're speaking of, we want to know what you're talking to us about. And that sounds like, oh, wow, they're very open to hearing the Gospel in English.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Stephanie Rousselle: It's actually not so much, because the word that Luke uses, he says, We want to know what these ideas mean. That word "to know" is in French "savoir." They want to know about the ideas. They are interested in intellectual knowledge. They're not actually interested to know the Gospel, they want to know of it. It's an intellectual quest. They're not interested in the God behind the idea.

Jennifer Rothschild: Just the idea, that's all they want.

Stephanie Rousselle: Exactly. And it's the same way when Paul is being judged. His judges use that word for evidence. "Savoir" to know of something. And there's nothing wrong with that, because we are -- you know, we humans, God created us with this hunger to know and value knowledge, and that's a good thing. Every culture across time and space has valued and hungered after knowledge. And that's really good, but there's a kind of truth that intellect alone cannot grasp. And that's part of my story coming from atheism. "Savoir" has to do with Solomon. And if you think about it, I mean, he was a very famous king who did not end very well.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Stephanie Rousselle: So he had a lot of savoir, but that wasn't enough. And so in Philippians 3:10, when Paul says he wants to know Christ, he doesn't say he wants to know about Christ. He says he wants to know Christ. And that's a different French word. It's a French word, "connaitre." And in English, I would say it has more to do with knowing as opposed to knowledge, if that makes sense.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. More of an intimate rather than information?

Stephanie Rousselle: Yes. Exactly.

Jennifer Rothschild: OK.

Stephanie Rousselle: So, you know, like "savior," like I said, it's in history, it's in Proverbs. But "connaitre," that's the word in the Psalms. That's the word "to know" in the Gospels. That's the word that Paul uses. Actually, "connaitre" gives you this one word in English -- which cracks me up as a French word -- the word connoisseur, right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, yeah. Right.

Stephanie Rousselle: Connoisseur, it's someone who knows intimately. Like if you're a wine connoisseur, you -- I don't think you can be a teetotaler, right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Right. You would know intimately wines.

Stephanie Rousselle: You share an art.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love that.

Stephanie Rousselle: There you go.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love that. Oh, no, keep going, keep going. I'm just having a moment here. I'm excited. That's beautiful. Keep going.

Stephanie Rousselle: We're called to be Jesus connoisseurs. You know, an art connoisseur is someone who's going to touch and smell and see and taste and hear to know the art through an experience of it. And we want to know Jesus through an experience of him. And that word "connaitre," I was saying, you know, out of the thousand times that the Bible uses the word "to know," there's maybe 300 times with savoir, but the rest, seven hundred times, it's connaitre.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow.

Stephanie Rousselle: Why? Because God is so much more after relationship than he is just about facts. He wants us to know him, not just know about him. And the crazier part is that he wants us to know ourselves the way he knows us. Because, you see, he already knows us fully, and yet, despite the arrogance and the pride of my own heart, he already loves me and us perfectly in Christ, and that's what the Bible is all about. So, you know, just to go -- you know, I'm a Bible geek, right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I can tell, but I love it. You're a multicultural, multi-languaged Bible geek, which makes it even more fun, Stephanie. Seriously, it's beautiful.

Stephanie Rousselle: You're so kind. And I love to go back to first mentions in Scripture. And I know this is something that you teach on too. First mention is like the first time a word is mentioned in Scripture.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Stephanie Rousselle: There's a special meaning to it. And so the first time that God uses that word in French, "connaitre," it's actually in the noun form connaissance, which is close to connoisseur, and it's actually the tree of knowledge of good and evil. What this tells us, it's the tree of connaitre, of connoisseur, of good and evil. So it's not a tree about intellectual knowledge, but about experiential knowledge. What God is saying here, he's warning us about knowing evil, not just knowing about evil. Basically this tree is saying it's OK to know about evil, just don't experience it.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow. Yeah.

Stephanie Rousselle: See the difference there? Adam and Eve, they already had savoir. They already had head knowledge about it, because God is warning them, right? So they know about it, but they have no connaitre, they have no experiential knowledge of it. And God is saying, like, keep it that way. You're better off not to intimately ever know evil. But the only way to connaitre evil is to experience it up close and personal.

Jennifer Rothschild: You know, Stephanie --

Stephanie Rousselle: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: What I'm just moved by as I hear you is -- you're exposing a depth of understanding of Scripture that so many of us just kind of, you know, skip like a stone on the surface of water and we never get to that depth. And I love that. And I love how it exposes not only your appetite for understanding and knowing the Lord, but it exposes the opportunity that we all have and it exposes the depth of God, and that is just such a gift to the body of Christ. And I know that our listeners right now are feeling like me, like kind of slack-jawed with this, wow, this is awesome. And it really is, my sister. I just -- I love this. I want to be a Jesus connoisseur. I really -- I love the way you phrase that. And so for our listeners -- I have already mentioned it earlier when I introduced you. But your Gospel Spice Podcast -- I mean, y'all, if you like what you're hearing now, this is Stephanie on her Gospel Spice Podcast. And I love that you've named it Gospel Spice. So we got some spiritual foodies among us right now, and their spiritual mouths are watering with everything they've just heard. But there's also some who are going like, well, I only think of salt when it comes to spices. You know, we got all types. So explain why you call your ministry and your podcast Gospel Spice. I just think this is super interesting.

Stephanie Rousselle: Thank you. Well, I think it's very sad -- because I love food, right? It's very sad when you go out to dinner, let's say, and you go to this nice and fancy restaurant -- and American portions are quite big -- right? -- so there's no way you can possibly finish your dinner. So you take it home and you have it for leftovers the next day. You have two options when lunch comes the next day, you can get your leftovers out of the Styrofoam package that it's in and stick it in the microwave for about 30 seconds and nuke it, and it's going to be warm and it's going to feed you, but it's probably going to be somewhat chewy and bland, stale. And that's often how we approach Scripture. We think that when we go to, you know, I want to know Christ, when we go to Philippians 4:13, when we go to the Sermon on the Mount, we think that we understand everything there is to know because we're content with microwaving or spiritual leftovers and then we're expecting a meal out of it. Whereas the alternative would be, I would say, to go the French slow-cooking way where you're going to take the time to put your leftovers in a nice dish, you're going to put it in the oven. I would suggest you're going to sprinkle some fresh spices on top. It's going to take more time, but it just might be that your leftover is actually going to taste better the next day because you've taken the time and the effort to go beyond your all-purpose Western garlic salt and you've dared to sprinkle fresh cinnamon and cumin and cilantro and cardamom and mint on your experience of Scripture. And all of a sudden, instead of stale leftovers, you end up with this spiritual flavor explosion that is going to make you a Jesus connoisseur. And that's what we do with the Gospel Spice Podcast, is that we serve people who maybe have experienced a level of staleness in their relationship with God, people who wonder if the Christian faith could be spicier than what they've experienced. And so that's -- every week we invite you to taste and see that the Lord is good. And what we just did was savoir and connaitre. We do that every week, not so much with the French as with the 1st century Jewish culture, and the French too. And then we have amazing guests. Like recently we had this amazing episode with someone called Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, that's why I wanted you on my podcast, Stephanie, because I loved your conversation and I love your mission. I love the beautiful way you bring the Gospel and Scripture to light. It really is so refreshing. And so I'm so glad that you shared that, because I recommend to all of our listeners that they subscribe to Gospel Spice also. And, you know, I think, Stephanie, the way you finish all your emails, it really captures your life. And I know our listeners will understand why I'm about to say this. So I want to finish this podcast the way you finish all your emails. You have this phrase, "God's Glory, Our Delight." So I would love for you just to finish up this conversation by telling us why is that true for you and how can it be true for anyone else who's listening, God's Glory, Our Delight?

Stephanie Rousselle: Yeah. So "delight" is actually one of those rare words that I think has more depth and deliciousness in French than in English. Because "delight" in French is the word "delice." And it's any feast for the body, the mind, or the spirit. Because in English you would use two words for our one French word "delice." We would say it's both "delight" and "deliciousness." So God in French is both "delightful" and "delicious." And so that's what we do, again, at Gospel Spice, is we invite you to make God your delight, your delicious delight. And that's my personal motto, because I think it really sums up what God has in mind -- had in mind when he created us. I think you can view all of life under the grid of who God is and what he has done, and then who we are and what he calls us to be and to do in his name. And to delight in the glory of God, to me it's the most freeing thing in the world. Because, again, because I'm arrogant and prideful and selfish, and I'm a control freak and all of those things. When I delight in the glory of God, when I delight in him, I experience freedom from these things, from pride and from self. I get to embrace this process of letting God make us into the person he created us to be. And when we do that, when we delight in him, then we step into the fullness of what he has ordained for us. And the beautiful thing, Jennifer, is that I think God delights in our delight of him, and that's how we bring him glory. We don't add to his glory, right? But we become part of this eternal dance of life to acknowledge his glory through the depth of the delight that we take in him.

Jennifer Rothschild: Amen, Stephanie. Amen. God does feel delight when we delight in him. So may it be, 4:13ers, may it be.

K.C. Wright: This really was so interesting and inspiring. If you want to hear more from Stephanie, check out her podcast, the Gospel Spice Podcast with Stephanie Rousselle. I've already downloaded it. We will have a link to it on the show. motes at And, of course, you can find it wherever you are listening right now.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. And, you know, I was actually on her podcast, the Gospel Spice Podcast. That's how I got to know her. And so we'll have a link to that exact episode on our show notes at All right, dear ones, this has been a really good day and I think we're just done for today. But I want you to take some time to just to savor, delight, pause, and experience the beauty of God. It will bless you and it will bless the God who loves you. So remember, no matter what you're facing, no matter how you feel, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. I can.

K.C. Wright: I can.

Jennifer and K.C.: And you can.


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