Spill the Beans LIVE with Jo Dee Messina and Nicole C. Mullen at Fresh Grounded Faith Springfield, MO [Episode 186]

Spill the Beans Nicole C. Mullen Jo Dee Messina

We are spilling some sizzlin’ hot beans today! Nicole C. Mullen and Jo Dee Messina joined me for Fresh Grounded Faith in Springfield, Missouri, where we answered some really great questions from the audience!

I talked about how I memorize Scripture and the messages I speak from stage. And, believe me, whether you’re blind like I am or you have perfect 20/20 vision, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that can help you too as you memorize, well … anything!

Nicole answered a tender question about how a white woman should approach a black woman. She responded to this question with such grace—just as she did previously when we talked about our country’s racial divide on the 4:13 Podcast. If you missed this episode, you can listen to it here.

Jo Dee got really honest about her marriage and her faith, and how to start reading the Bible if you—like her—are new to it.

Then, all three of us chimed in to answer a really tough question about suicide. Sister, if you are struggling with these kinds of thoughts, I pray you would take this advice to heart and reach out to someone you trust.

And finally, we all shared our role models from the Bible, gave some insight on managing our insecurities, and ended with advice to our younger selves. It was such a great Spill the Beans segment that I had to share it with the entire 4:13 Podcast family!

Now, these women really don’t need an introduction, but I’ll still give you one for each because I love who they are and how God has been using them…

Nicole C. Mullen started as a background singer for Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, and the Newsboys. She’s an incredible singer/songwriter who has received two Grammy nominations and won nine Dove Awards. She’s also an author, and you just have to check out her video for “The God Who Sees.” It will blow your mind! You’ve loved her music for years, and you’re going to love her heart in this conversation.

Next, here are some cool facts about Jo Dee Messina…

Following the success of her country music debut, Jo Dee posted nine No. 1 hits, sixteen Top 40 songs, sold over five million albums, and was honored by the American Country Music Association, The Country Music Association, and the GRAMMY Awards. She’s also a speaker and author, and her work is now fueled by her faith in Christ. Jo Dee is funny, relatable, and loves to share about the One who captured her heart—Jesus.

Both Nicole and Jo Dee will be a huge encouragement to you in this conversation. So, pull up your chair to the bistro, and here we go…

[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]

Related Resources

Books & Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild

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Episode Transcript

4:13 Podcast: Spill the Beans LIVE with Jo Dee Messina and Nicole C. Mullen at Fresh Grounded Faith Springfield, MO [Episode 186]

Jennifer Rothschild: We are spilling some sizzling hot beans. Today on the 4:13, Nicole C. Mullen and Jo Dee Messina are sitting at the bistro table with me at Fresh Grounded Faith, and they are answering your questions. And, wow, can I just say, these were some great questions. We talked about how I memorized Scripture and the messages that I speak from stage. And then Nicole answered an amazingly tender question about how a white woman should approach a black woman. Then Jo Dee, she got really honest about her marriage and her faith and how to start reading the Bible if you, like her, are new to the Bible. We answered a really tough question about suicide and we all shared our role models from the Bible, and then we ended with advice to our younger selves. I'm telling you, you do not want to miss this. So, K.C., bring it on.

K. C. Wright: Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you up, my friend, to live the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Now, your host and my soul sister --

Jennifer Rothschild: Soul sister.

K. C. Wright: -- Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Hey, everybody. Jennifer Rothschild here to help you be and do more than you feel capable of. That was my seeing eye guy, K.C. Wright, who -- before we started, he put on his glasses so he would actually be the seeing eye guy who could see, because it's very helpful if one of us can.

K. C. Wright: Oh, no. I'm getting older. I need glasses.

Jennifer Rothschild: I know.

K. C. Wright: Where's my glasses?

Jennifer Rothschild: Do we need to get you one of those chains around your neck like my granny used to wear?

K. C. Wright: My granny, I'll never forget her being at the condo going, "Where's my glasses?" And I'm like, "Grandma, you've got seven on top of your head."

Jennifer Rothschild: Exactly. I'm that way with my phone. It's in my hand or I'm talking to someone, I'm like, "Hold on, let me find my phone." And I'm like, "Oh, gosh, it's in my hand."

Anyway, two friends, one topic, zero stress. Today, though, I got to be honest, we got a lot of topics we're covering, because this was an amazing conversation. And K.C. and I are so excited you get to hear from these two amazing women from a Fresh Grounded Faith, my conference. But I got to tell you, we would love to hear from you.

K. C. Wright: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: We would love to know what you think --

K. C. Wright: Please.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- about this conversation and the 4:13 Podcast in general. In other words, we would love it if you would leave us a review and a rating on whatever platform you're listening, especially if you're on Apple podcasts. Super helpful. K.C. and I were just talking, we notice every review.

K. C. Wright: Every one. We read them.

Jennifer Rothschild: We read every word. I wish we could talk back to you.

K. C. Wright: Mm-hmm.

Jennifer Rothschild: But just know we read them and we appreciate every word. It encourages us and it encourages others.

K. C. Wright: It is a true encouragement to our heart and our ministry. You know, our heart is to minister and love one heart at a time. You listening right now, we are here for you. But, man, I'm telling you, those little reviews give little signposts for those to follow.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K. C. Wright: So if you've received hope, love, encouragement, it only takes a moment to give us a little five-star review.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's right.

K. C. Wright: Say something nice. Okay? Because I wear my heart on my sleeve. Don't crush me.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, we're very sensitive.

K. C. Wright: All right? Okay? All right. Listen --

Jennifer Rothschild: We don't take criticism well.

K. C. Wright: But I tell you what, I am very protective of J.R., and she's protective of me.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's right.

K. C. Wright: So if you do say something negative, we're coming after you. No, I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding.

Jennifer Rothschild: To give you a hug and ask you to, yeah, help us be better.

K. C. Wright: But it makes such a difference, and we want to thank you in advance.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. Yeah, we sure do. So thank you so much for leaving a rating and a review. If you haven't, sharing the podcast with others. And especially you're going to want to share this one because it's going to be so good with Jo Dee and Nicole.

K. C. Wright: Well, these women really don't need any intro. Hello. But I'll give you a little because I like to brag on them. Okay? Nicole C. Mullen, God's girl, I love this gal. She started as a background singer for Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, and the Newsboys and is an incredible singer-songwriter herself who has had two Grammy nominations and has won nine Dove Awards. She's also an author, and you just must go to her YouTube now and type in "The God Who Sees."

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, yes.

K. C. Wright: It will blow your mind. Your goosebumps will give birth to goosebumps, they'll break dance down your back. You've loved her music for years and you're going to love her heart in this conversation. And if she's listening, I love you, Nicole.

Okay, now let me tell you some really cool facts about Jo Dee Messina. Following the success of the debut "Jo Dee," posted nine #1 hits, 16 Top 40 songs, sold over, I don't know, 5 million albums.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, wait a minute. That's like 5 million more than I have ever sold.

K. C. Wright: Well, I'm not bragging, but I'm working on my polka album, and it's going to be incredible.

Okay. Anyway, she was honored by the American Country Music Association, the Country Music Association, and the Grammy Awards. So like Nicole, Jo Dee is totally relatable, and she'll be such a huge encouragement to your heart in this conversation. So pull up your chair to the bistro. Here we go.

Jennifer Rothschild: Let's go through them. So what we got here?

Nicole C. Mullen: So this first one is for you, Jennifer -- okay? -- since you're so inspiring, because you really are. The question is: How do you stay in sync when you're speaking? Sighted people use cards, note cards, outlines. What do you use? Let me just say something really quickly. This woman is brilliant.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, gosh.

Nicole C. Mullen: Brilliant. I'm sitting there flabbergasted. You're brilliant.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, you're sweet.

Nicole C. Mullen: So go on and tell them the rest of it.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, it takes one to know one. It takes one to know one. I will tell you this. What I do by memorizing and staying on topic, everyone is capable of, so don't think this is a superpower.

Nicole C. Mullen: It is.

Jennifer Rothschild: What we depend on with our eyes, you know, I'm not able to do, so, therefore, I've had to learn this. So I spend a lot of time -- I first meditate on anything I'm trying to learn. I try to get a global understanding of it, give it context, places in my life that make sense to me. I try to live it. And then I begin a memorization process. So like what I did this morning with that message, I have a ladder that I create in my mind. That ladder had three rungs, because there were three points, if you remember. I remember it's based on Amos 9:11. Let's just be honest, 911 is an easy number to remember -- right? -- because that was a tragedy. But what's that verse about? Hope. And then if you notice, all of the segments of that verse begin with R words. And so I know you got to repair something before you can restore it, so that's how I put those in order on the ladder to remember. So I try to memorize either based on concepts, based on mnemonic devices. And on every rung of the ladder I have my point, but then on top of it I stack pictures. So even though I cannot see in my mind, I've got pictures stacked there. So I see Connor with a broken balloon right there on top of Amos 9:11 repairing broken things. And I build based on that. Then I see Israel, then I see Jesus broken on the cross. I see all the pictures, and they lift to the next rung of the ladder which gets me to the next point. So that's how I do it. It does take focus. The older I've gotten, the more focus it takes, like everything else. But that's just the grace of God, and it is accessible to all of us. You don't have to be blind to be able to access that ability for your memory.

Nicole C. Mullen: Okay, I'm hanging on every word you just said, and I wish I could have written it down. But I'm going to go back to what I said. She's brilliant. Okay, enough said. Excellent. Thank you.

Okay, question number two: Who is your role model from the Bible?

Jennifer Rothschild: This is for all of us?

Nicole C. Mullen: For all of us, yes. Role model.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I'd be curious your answer, Nicole, since you just talked about Ruth.

Nicole C. Mullen: I have several.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay.

Nicole C. Mullen: Ruth would be one. Abigail, another, who had Nabal. Read that story, it's great. Esther, of course. Love Esther. The woman at the well, that's my girl. Don't talk about her, y'all.

Jennifer Rothschild: Amen.

Nicole C. Mullen: Bathsheba, she wasn't as bad as they say. It was David. He was watching her.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right? She was doing her thing.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah. He saw her from his roof. It didn't say she was on her roof.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's right.

Nicole C. Mullen: I'm just saying. Read it, people. Give her her credit.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's right.

Nicole C. Mullen: Let's see. There's several of them. Like I really -- there's a lot of women. Of course, Christ is my favorite figure there. But there's a lot of great women in the Bible, because I see how God, like, used them and how he related to them, and it gives me hope for him relating to us in the same way.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, the way you unpacked Ruth for us -- Jo Dee and I were talking about -- you took something complicated and de-complicated it, made it very accessible.

Nicole C. Mullen: Aw, thank you.

Jennifer Rothschild: So thank you for -- I think there's some out there who would say, "Now Ruth's my role model."

Nicole C. Mullen: Ruth is my girl. Right?

Jo Dee Messina: And then the genealogy.

Jennifer Rothschild: It was beautiful.

Jo Dee Messina: I was over there in case I started coughing. I watched it from over there.

But people wonder, you know, why do they do all this in the Bible? You know, why -- you know, Matthew, why is Matthew the first book of the New Testament? Because it has the genealogy.

Jennifer Rothschild: It does.

Jo Dee Messina: And why did Matthew do that? He was a tax collector. He was focused on detail and all of that line.

Jennifer Rothschild: And it matters.

Jo Dee Messina: But you spelled it out so great and it was like, yes, this is -- this is why.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Nicole C. Mullen: They never put women in genealogies.

Jennifer Rothschild: No.

Nicole C. Mullen: So for Matthew to have five women in that genealogy was kind of scandalous at the time, I'm sure. You know what I'm saying? But he named those same women we were talking about to show that this is who Christ came from and who he also came for.

Jennifer Rothschild: Amen.

Nicole C. Mullen: And that's how we qualify, so...

Jennifer Rothschild: Jo Dee, what about you, do you have any specific role models? And they don't have to be female.

Jo Dee Messina: Right, right. Well, I could go with the Christ one.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, of course.

Nicole C. Mullen: You are Deborah.

Jo Dee Messina: I love the fact that the woman at the well was the first evangelist.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yes.

Jo Dee Messina: Right? She is the first one to go tell the news of Jesus, the first one to do that. I love Mary Magdalene, how faithful she was, just faithful.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah.

Jo Dee Messina: You know, even going to the tomb or the garden or, like, "Where have you put him? Where have you put him? I want to -- I'll go get him."

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: That would have been you.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yes. Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wouldn't that have been her?

Jennifer, Nicole, and Jo Dee: (Indistinct)

Nicole C. Mullen: And she gets a bad rep, too, because they always think that she's the woman of Bethany, like Mary of Bethany. She was not the sinful woman, Mary Magdalene. She was actually the one that Jesus delivered from the evil spirits. She was tormented, she was depressed, she had issues, you know.

Jennifer Rothschild: And he said, "Mary." When you do that on "The God Who Sees," just, "Mary."

Jo Dee Messina: Oh, yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Nicole C. Mullen: Oooo, don't get me (inaudible)

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I'm going to break the stride here. I'm all for women, pro women, yay women, but I have such a crush on the minor prophets, I got to say.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yes. Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: So -- I do. I just -- I love the minor prophets. And when I say they're role models for me, I don't know, they're aspirational to me, because I appreciate the uniqueness of their personalities, yet how they all obeyed God in the way and in the time God called them. Like Hosea, he lives out a hard love story in front of the people to communicate the message. Haggai just shows up and he's like, "You can do it, guys." Amos comes in and he is harsh, man, but he ends with hope. And he was just a fig farmer and he shows up in a big city. It would be like somebody going from a teeny town in Arkansas to New York City and saying, "Y'all are in sin." It takes guts.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah.

Jo Dee Messina: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: So all of them -- I think it's the spirit of the minor prophets that is very much a role model for me.

Nicole C. Mullen: I love that. I love that.

Okay, so question number three is for me. All right. I like this question, actually. It says, "How can I, as a white woman, approach a black woman?" Or "talk to a black woman." I love this question.

Jennifer Rothschild: I'm so glad you do. I think people are afraid to ask it.

Nicole C. Mullen: I know. And that's what I'm sad about, because I feel like our culture has made it to where you as my white Caucasian sisters have been put on a new defense. And I apologize for that on behalf of us as your sisters of color. I would say honestly -- first of all, I'm sorry that that is happening.

And, number two, you have every right to approach a black woman, an African American woman, but I would say do it with humility, with love, with grace, like you would your own sisters. You know what I'm saying? And if you're going to ask questions, just go and say, "Hey, I have some questions that I would love to ask. I'm sorry if, you know, some of it may sound" -- and I don't have a better word for what I'm about to say -- but ignorant. And that's not a bad word. It just says I don't know, I've never walked in your shoes, I've never experienced what you've experienced. "So can I ask some questions? Because I really do want to know," you know. And I think you have every right to do that. And if you ask it in humility, then really only a jerk would say no. I mean, really, honestly.

Jennifer Rothschild: Jerks come in all colors.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah, they come in all colors, absolutely.

Jo Dee Messina: Did you just say jerks --

Nicole C. Mullen: They do. They do. They do. Oh, and just -- yeah, there are things like, you know -- because there are a lot of different things that we have that we have in common. I mean, most the things we have in common. But there are some different cultural things, from the hair to how we do certain things to things that could be misunderstood if you don't really understand the context. And I've actually been working on a book. I need to just finally put it out, honestly.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, you do.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah. Just cross-cultural sisterhood, that would just kind of give you an insight, that would just kind of help -- I mean, like --

Jennifer Rothschild: Nicole, you could speak to that.

Nicole C. Mullen: I would love to. I mean, I love these kind of conversations, and I welcome them, you know, because, yeah, I feel like we make each other better when we know each other better.

Jennifer Rothschild: And unintimidated.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: Let me just ask you one quick practical question.

Nicole C. Mullen: Okay, go ahead.

Jennifer Rothschild: So, like, I used to think it was respectful most to call everyone of color, dark --

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah, yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- African American. But now I have heard, no, you shouldn't do that, you should call black. But then I've heard no, only black people are allowed to call people black.

Nicole C. Mullen: I don't even know. It changes every other day, I'm just going to say, honestly --

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. Does it?

Nicole C. Mullen: -- so we don't even know. Okay?

Jennifer Rothschild: So, like, I'm terrified --

Nicole C. Mullen: We don't even know. And that's sad, because everybody is like we -- I mean, honestly, as an African American, black woman, whatever, as long as you say it with respect. Now, we all know that there are certain words that you probably just shouldn't say at all -- okay? --

Jennifer Rothschild: Of course.

Nicole C. Mullen: -- because that will get you in trouble no matter where you're at. But when it comes to, you know, the new description today, African American still works, black works, as long as you say it respectfully. And if you get it wrong, tell the person, "You know what, I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to offend you. What would you like to be called?

Jo Dee Messina: Well, if someone's looking to be offended --

Nicole C. Mullen: They're going to be offended anyway.

Jo Dee Messina: -- they're going to be offended no matter what you say.

Nicole C. Mullen: Absolutely. Absolutely. Now let me just say this, too. This is one of those things that I was talking about in my book. And I'm going to move on to another question in a second. But there are certain things, because of how my mom and my grandmother and them were raised, that they're a lot more sensitive about than you might be. So if you were to approach my mom, and you are not of her age or stage, and you called her by her first name, it would be very offensive. And to some of you it might be lightly offensive, but to her and my grandmother and them, it would be very, very offensive, because as they were growing up, they were called "Gal" by seven-year-olds. They were never given their proper respect as Mrs. or Miss or -- you know, or Ms. Coleman or Grams or something like that.

So for my mom these days -- and she is a lovely person. But for them, if you were to come in contact with somebody that's in an older age group, it is best to say, "Hey, what would you like for me to call you?" instead of just assuming, "Oh, her name is Angie, I'm going to call her Angie." No, don't do that, don't do that. I mean, my grandmother wouldn't even answer the nurses if they called her --

Jennifer Rothschild: Really?

Nicole C. Mullen: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, good for her.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah. Until they put a proper handle on her.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right. Demand that respect, yeah.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah, the title. So I'm just saying there are just little things like that. And we wouldn't know it. Even if they did answer you, we as African Americans would know that a great trespass has happened -- and we'd have to explain it later -- as to why all of a sudden they went cold. And it's not that you were bad, it's just that you didn't know. So there are little things like that, that if you do know, then it will make the conversation a lot easier. And you'll find, honestly, that you really do have a lot more in common than you do that's, like, totally different, so...

Jennifer Rothschild: I heard you say two themes constantly: respect and humility.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: Respect and humility.

Nicole C. Mullen: It works everywhere.

Jennifer Rothschild: It does.

Nicole C. Mullen: It's a common language everywhere you go.

Jennifer Rothschild: Good word.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah.

Jo Dee Messina: I used those things in hockey the other day.

Nicole C. Mullen: You did what?

Jennifer Rothschild: You what?

Jo Dee Messina: In hockey. My kids play hockey.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, hockey. Okay.

Jo Dee Messina: Oh, yeah. And I'm like, "Respect. You have respect for a person and you be humble out there on" --

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, really?

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah, yeah. It works.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay.

Jo Dee Messina: It's life. And in every --

Nicole C. Mullen: It's a life lesson, absolutely.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay.

Nicole C. Mullen: Absolutely.

Jennifer Rothschild: I thought you said "honky," as in the first word's "tonk." I was like, "What did she just say?" Honky-tonk.

Nicole C. Mullen: Some things y'all can say. I can't say that, I'm just saying.

Jennifer Rothschild: No, right? That's what we're talking about.

All right. Anyway, next question.

Nicole C. Mullen: All right. Anyway -- okay, question number four. Let's see. With someone who struggles with reading the Bible, what is your recommendation for them to get into the Word? Like, would you say podcast, audiobooks, certain chapters, certain books in the Bible? Like, what would be your advice?

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I'll start. So the best way to start is to start.

Nicole C. Mullen: Absolutely.

Jo Dee Messina: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: So I don't think you need to have a grand plan, but open the Book. But if you want to start reading the Bible, you don't start listening to podcasts about the Bible --

Nicole C. Mullen: That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- you start reading the Bible.

Nicole C. Mullen: That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: So that's the first thing that I would say. But take the pressure off. I would not -unless you're just feeling led to, you don't need to start with Genesis. Start with the main character of the Bible, which is Jesus. You might want to start with the Book of John. Just choose to read one or two verses a day, that's all.

I will tell you this. I use a Bible app, that I love, called Dwell, D-w-e-l-l. And the Dwell Bible app has humans reading to you. And they're from all over the world, so you've got the coolest accents. They have beautiful music behind them, and my understanding is on the screen you can see beautiful art that depicts what you're listening to. It's a beautiful way to get into Scripture if you're new or if you're just experienced and want to engage more. So it's called Dwell, D-w-e-l-l. You can get to it easy at my website, jenniferrothschild.com/dwell. That's what I would recommend.

Nicole C. Mullen: That's great. I agree with you, I would definitely start with the Bible in order to start reading the Bible. For me, I would say -- you know, one of my favorites in the New Testament is the Book of Luke. I know a lot of people like John, and John is a great one to start with as well. But I like Luke. I like the interaction between Jesus and the women that I see there, and that's important to me.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

Nicole C. Mullen: And so when you're approaching it, if you have given your life to Jesus, to God through Jesus, then you have his Spirit on the inside of you. So what you can do is you can access him and you can say, "God, I'm asking that your Spirit, who is Holy" -- we call him the Holy Spirit -- "if he would really teach me what it is I need to know, if he would show me what I need to see, if he would open my mind so that I'll understand what I need to understand." If you start there and then you open up the book and you begin to read, you may not understand everything, but I can promise you the something that you do understand is what he wanted you to know.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yep.

Nicole C. Mullen: And so if you take it from that point of view step by step, begin to read it, and where you don't understand, say, "God, can you help me? I don't get this right here." I do it all the time.

Jennifer Rothschild: Me too.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah. And before you know it, he starts explaining it. And it may not be in that second, it might be throughout the day. It might be throughout the week. It might be something comes to mind, you're like, "Oh, now it makes sense." But you've asked. Like I said earlier, Ruth couldn't have access to the Redeemer until she asked. There's certain things you cannot have access to, or you won't have access to, until you ask him to show you to illuminate the Scripture. Okay? And then read it.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's good.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah. Then do it.

Jennifer Rothschild: Jo Dee, here's what's curious to me. Because she and I grew up in the church, Bible was always around. What about you coming to Christ in the last several years, how did you begin to read the Bible and how do you now -- what works for you?

Jo Dee Messina: Oh, wow, that's really good.

Nicole C. Mullen: Because you represent a whole lot of people, which is great.

Jo Dee Messina: Yeah, I do. Well, with me. I do know I have to learn everything in my mind, which is not actually the way the Bible works. It's good to memorize Scripture so that you can call on it and remember, you know, in the middle of feeling horrible about yourself, that you are precious and you are beloved and you are paid for and you are -- you know, you're ransomed and you're -- you know, all these things that the Lord says that we are. But my road was different. I was like, "I need to know more, so I'm going to go to school."

Jennifer Rothschild: Oooo, that's good.

Jo Dee Messina: So that's where I started. And you were talking about the small -- the minor prophets -- small prophets -- minor -- the little ones.

Jennifer Rothschild: The little guys.

Jo Dee Messina: And I had gone to a place called The Kings University down in Southlake, Texas. And I would fly there twice a week to go to classes to learn theology and ministry because I wanted to learn about the Bible. I'm like, "It doesn't make sense to me, I don't get it."

Jennifer Rothschild: I love that.

Jo Dee Messina: And so -- but it wasn't the school that taught me. My first semester was the Old Testament, so -- and then my final paper -- this is in the Bible -- was on the Book of Zephaniah. If you read the first line of Zephaniah -- there's only, like, four chapters in there. It's an easy read. It starts with, like, "And fire will shoot from the sky, and the destruction of the world," and I'm like, "Aaaah!"

But with that, I went back and I read all the prophets. And so as I'm reading through all the books of the prophets, I was like, "Oh, he loved us first."

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah.

Jo Dee Messina: He loved us first. He kept sending these people going, "Hey, turn back to me. Look at me. Hey, come back. Look." God is saying, "Come back. Look my way, look my way." And then just like a hot shower, just went -- you know, just like -- or when you get, you know, the -- what do you call those heat --

Nicole C. Mullen: Heat flashes?

Jo Dee Messina: Those things.

Nicole C. Mullen: She's too young, she doesn't even know.

Jo Dee Messina: Whatever those things are. It's kind of like that where I was sitting in my kitchen and it was like, "He loved us first." And so then I started to dive in. Once you see how Scripture comes to life, how it is living, then you're like, "I want more of it, I want more of it, I want more of it." And if I feel like I want to know God's love for me, I go to the book of John. Like you were saying, a lot of people start there. John is very descriptive in that, he has that relationship with him. And then Luke was a physician, so his has more of a compassionate feeling side of it. And then Matthew is more -- not rigid, but more factual. So they each reflect their personality.

Nicole C. Mullen: That's good.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love that.

Nicole C. Mullen: And I love something that you've said, too, that both of you all have brought out, were Old Testament books. And I think sometimes people are afraid of the Old Testament because they feel like, well, the God of the Old Testament was so mean, but the God of the New Testament is so nice. That's not true.

Jennifer Rothschild: No.

Nicole C. Mullen: It's one God. And he was just as merciful and kind in the Old Testament as we see him in the New Testament.

Jo Dee Messina: Preach.

Nicole C. Mullen: And every book of the Bible speaks of God and his love for us, and it also speaks about Jesus Christ.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, it does.

Nicole C. Mullen: Old Testament talks about who's to come, the New Testament shows who has come, and he's on both sides. So he's all the above, was, is, and will be.

Jennifer Rothschild: Amen.

Nicole C. Mullen: The whole Bible speaks of him.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

Nicole C. Mullen: Okay, so I have another question. And this question is for you, Jo Dee. This question says, "Are you still married to the man who walked away from you on the porch?" Because we want to beat him down. I'm just -- I'm just kidding. Okay, I added that last...

Jo Dee Messina: I am not.

Nicole C. Mullen: Okay. All right. Enough said. All right. Enough said. All right.

Jennifer Rothschild: And you know what? That was a good answer.

Nicole C. Mullen: Good answer. Enough said.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, it was.

Jo Dee Messina: It was, yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: And we're grateful for the grace of God.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yes, we are. Thank you, Jesus.

Jo Dee Messina: I am not. But it was not an easy thing. I fought with it and I fought with it --

Jennifer Rothschild: Of course.

Jo Dee Messina: -- and I fought with it for a long time, and waited for a few years and waited for him to say, "Wait. I don't want to lose this family, I don't want to lose this family. Please. You know, we can make this work. We can get help, we can pray together, we can" -- I waited for a couple of years, after I filed, for him to come around, and he didn't and so...

Nicole C. Mullen: He missed out on --

Jennifer Rothschild: There's women who understand that.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah, absolutely.

Jennifer Rothschild: Grace, grace --

Nicole C. Mullen: That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- grace.

Nicole C. Mullen: He missed out on a treasure.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, he did. Yes, he did.

Nicole C. Mullen: Okay. Next question is: How does a Christian woman handle suicidal thoughts?

Jo Dee Messina: Oooo, that's good.

Jennifer Rothschild: The same way any woman handles suicidal thoughts. So let's just start with that. Just because you're a Christian doesn't mean you may not struggle with this. So first of all, shame off you. All right?

Nicole C. Mullen: I like that.

Jennifer Rothschild: Anyone who struggles with suicidal thoughts, how should you handle that? First by recognizing that a suicidal thought is a cry for help. And it's a signal that you are a valuable person. And you are so valuable that you are worthy of help and rescue. So when you think those thoughts and feel those feelings, that's your signal. It's not like a little flicker of a fire, it's like a four-alarm fire that says, "I am too valuable. Even if I don't feel it, I am too valuable to let this thought continue. I'm going to get help." And the first way you get help is you tell somebody who you trust. And then with that somebody, you go to get help. But you're too valuable to allow those thoughts to lie to you and tell you that they are true. Okay? That's my thoughts. What do y'all -- I mean...

Nicole C. Mullen: That's great. Counseling, the Word, believing what God says about you, putting it into action. Rebuking the devil.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, it's a lie.

Nicole C. Mullen: Because sometimes what we call depression is really the evil spirits trying to torture you and torment your mind, and so some things can be counseled away and other things have to be cast out. That's what the Word says. So sometimes it's a combination of both.

Jo Dee Messina: Did you say nonbeliever or believer or...

Nicole C. Mullen: Oh, Christian. But still, for anybody, yeah. Sorry.

Jo Dee Messina: So I would speak from a nonbeliever perspective. Right? Because I didn't know the Lord for most of my life. And what I do with the rest of it, I don't know. But if you're someone who doesn't have that relationship with Jesus, I would say what -- there is a reality. If you can believe in, you know, the Psychic Network, or whatever people believe in, then you best believe there is a spiritual world.

Nicole C. Mullen: That's right, Jo Dee.

Jo Dee Messina: You know, if you see people out there with some crazy musician worshiping the devil, you best believe that there is another side.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

Jo Dee Messina: So worldly we tend to lean towards the non-Christ things. But when you're in this situation, I'm going to tell you, there is a Satan and he does not want you --

Nicole C. Mullen: That's right.

Jo Dee Messina: -- to find Christ, because if he finds Christ, he loses you.

Nicole C. Mullen: That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Nicole C. Mullen: He's going to fight against you.

Jo Dee Messina: So there is an enemy. And what he does is he isolates you and shames you. So you have these thoughts of, "I am not worthy. I just want to die. I don't want to be here, I don't want to" -- and the first thing you're going to do is you're going to shut down and isolate yourself. So whether it's a counselor -- it doesn't have to be. Go to your mother --

Nicole C. Mullen: Or grandmother.

Jo Dee Messina: -- go to your sister, your best friend at work --

Nicole C. Mullen: That's right.

Jo Dee Messina: -- go to someone. And as soon as you speak that out, you crack open the lock of the cage that Satan has got you in.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Nicole C. Mullen: That's good. That's good.

Jo Dee Messina: So speak it out, speak it out, speak it out.

Nicole C. Mullen: That's good.

Jo Dee Messina: And I'm not saying like a child, like, "Oh, my gosh, my life is (inaudible)..."

Jennifer Rothschild: No.

Jo Dee Messina: I'm not saying that.

Nicole C. Mullen: Be honest.

Jo Dee Messina: Say, "Look, I'm scared because I don't want to be here right now."

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Jo Dee Messina: "I need help. Will you please help me? And I just have to tell somebody I've thought of taking my own life because I just don't want to see tomorrow." So at that point, as soon as you speak it out, you'll notice it's all of a sudden, like, click --

Jennifer Rothschild: It loses its power.

Jo Dee Messina: -- and one -- it loses its power.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah, very true. No, very good.

Jennifer Rothschild: And that's so brave. So if you are in this room --

Jo Dee Messina: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- be brave. You are worthy and valuable. And do not believe the lie that echoes through your head that the world would be better or wouldn't even miss you if you were gone. It's a lie.

Jo Dee Messina: It's a lie.

Jennifer Rothschild: It's a lie.

Nicole C. Mullen: Very good.

Okay, one more question. I'm going to back this one to you, Jennifer. This one says, "Have you ever had insecurities with your condition or being blind in general?"

Jennifer Rothschild: Have I ever? How many should I list for you right this minute? Let me just -- yes or no, are you insecure in some areas?

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah, absolutely. Who's not?

Jennifer Rothschild: We all are.

Nicole C. Mullen: Absolutely.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love the question, because to me it represents this -- well, I'm not saying this questioner says this, but this represents a myth that we all think that she doesn't struggle with what I do. She's got it all together and I don't. It's just a lie. I don't even try anymore to get rid of my insecurity. I don't even try. I just try to manage it. Because here's the thing. My insecurity shows up in comparison, in my -- I have the best rewind button. You cannot release it from my life. I rewind everything. "I shouldn't have said that. I shouldn't have done that. Why didn't I mention this? How could I have said that to" --

Nicole C. Mullen: Well, you come across as if you don't have insecurities.

Jennifer Rothschild: Exactly. And that's the point.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yes, that's the point, yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's the point. I will say, I have learned to manage my insecurities through humility. That's what I mean I don't try to get rid of them, because trying to get rid of them is just another avenue of pride. "Look what I conquered. I got no insecurities." Oh, dang, I got so many insecurities. So I manage them through humility.

Now, are they exacerbated through blindness? Absolutely. Does it drive me crazy that I look at these two women, try to have a conversation and cannot see them to know who's talking when, et cetera? Does it bother me to be standing in a group and someone walks away and I start to have a conversation and don't know they're there? Do I feel like an idiot? Absolutely. But have I had to try to get over it and realize, Jennifer, you can either be full of pride and be humiliated by that or you can acknowledge, I'm blind. Blind people can't see. I will humble myself and be who I am until God changes it. And I'm telling you, life's easier. So don't try to just fix all your problems. Just be who you are within your weakness. Be okay with it. Let God be strong there. And I'm telling you, I have learned in my life my biggest problem will never be blindness. It will be pride --

Nicole C. Mullen: Mm-hmm, that's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- discontent. But when I am walking with the Lord in such a way that I am content and that I am humble, then the insecurities of blindness aren't what take me down. So I guess I would say that to all of us --

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah, that's a -- that'll preach.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- because we're all insecure.

Nicole C. Mullen: That'll preach.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. We're all insecure.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yes, absolutely.

Jennifer Rothschild: All right. Let me see. We don't have any more time, Nicole, do we?

Nicole C. Mullen: Now, your husband says we're out.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. Phil, I got to ask one more question.

Nicole C. Mullen: Okay.

Jennifer Rothschild: This is our last thing. Let's just make it as concise as possible. What would we say to our younger selves? Because I think that was one of the questions I thought was fascinating.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: Nicole, what would you say to your younger self?

Nicole C. Mullen: Don't stress about who you are not. Be content in who you are and who God is making you into.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, Jo Dee, what would you say to your younger self?

Jo Dee Messina: I know the answer and I've been asked this. Don't sell out who you are for success. If you look at my --

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah.

Jo Dee Messina: You know, don't sell out who you are just to be successful, because -- yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: I think what I would say to my younger self is similar, and it's that -- well, "You're okay, Jennifer."

Nicole C. Mullen: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: "You're okay. You don't have to strive so hard. You're okay. Your best is okay."

Nicole C. Mullen: And you're brilliant. I'm just saying.

Jennifer Rothschild: And become friends with Nicole at 16 --

Nicole C. Mullen: Oh, whatever.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- so she can tell you you're brilliant and you'll actually believe it.

Nicole C. Mullen: I just speak the truth. Okay? You are.

Jennifer Rothschild: But you know what I think of when I hear that, y'all? We are our younger selves. This is as young as we're going to get.

Nicole C. Mullen: Yes. That's the truth.

Jennifer Rothschild: So if we would have said it to us then, let's say it to us now.

Nicole C. Mullen: Say it now. That's right, that's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: All right. Would you thank these girls. The beans are officially spilled.

Nicole C. Mullen: Thank you. Thank you.

Jennifer Rothschild: You rocked it. Oh, my gosh, I love you guys.

Nicole C. Mullen: We love you.

K. C. Wright: This is why I love Fresh Grounded Faith. Exhibit A, you keep it real.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K. C. Wright: That was really, really good stuff.

Jennifer Rothschild: I know.

K. C. Wright: I think personally, Jo Dee and Nicole just absolutely rock.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, they do. I love those women. And they're so humble and they're kind. It really was an honor to serve alongside them in Springfield, Missouri, at the Fresh Grounded Faith Conference. So we're going to have links to their music and to their books on the show notes at 413podcast.com/186, so you can go deeper with them when you hit those links. All right? And I really love that you're supporting them, that you're supporting quality women of God when you purchase their music or books.

All right, dear ones, we love you and we're so grateful for you. We're wrapping this episode up. So until next week, whatever you face and however you feel, don't you ever forget that 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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