Mar 15, 2010

Facebook Jesus

When I first joined facebook, I added "Jesus" as a friend. I Ddin't know who had put up the Jesus profile, but I figured anyone who wanted to get Jesus on facebook was probably a cool cat.  I soon discovered that the person behind this Jesus had very different idea than I did.  "Jesus" posting some vitriolic statements and flaming out others as heretics.  It made me uncomfortable, so I defriended "Jesus." My friend Kara Lee emailed me: "I read your news feed, "Susan is no longer friends with Jesus." Fortunately facebook no longer puts "defriends" in my timeline.

I recently met a talented young author named Renee Johnson. She just published a devotional called "The Faithbook of Jesus." She wanted to title it "The Facebook Jesus," but she would have faced copyright infringement.

Renee is full of energy and excitement. And she will tell you this didn't come from life always going well. Even at the ripe old age of 27 she's got her own bag of craptastic moments from which to share. But she's turned it into gold. 

Renee has been blogging for six years, where she created an online devotional for twenty-somethings. There aren't any devotionals out there written for 20 somethings by an actual 20-something. So Renee's book is unique and will find a new audience to add to those who've already become part of her blog community.

Here's a brief Q and A with Renee.

Q: Please share a little about yourself!

A: I am an author and speaker to 20-somethings, but my tagline says "spirited." This is an understatement which I'm sure you can attest to after meeting me! I love Jesus. And, I don't just say it--I live it. I recently graduated from Biola University and for the past two years I've had the pleasure of working with talented speakers and authors at Outreach Events. Just this year I decided to take my writing and speaking full time and fill in the gaps for 20-somethings where the church left off.

Q: Your new devotional book released last week called "Faithbook of Jesus." Tell us more...

A: I've put my heart and soul into this project. Since 2004 I've blogged devotionals on, and just recently I was discovered on Twitter by my literary agent and publisher, NavPress. Not to mention the devotionals I've been saving for the past 7 years. I'm honored to have written the first daily devotional for people, ages 18-35. No matter what age you are though, it will make you laugh, cry at my story (I hope anyway), and enjoy getting to know more of Jesus' daily.

Q: In some of your devoitonals you seem to have some "angry conversations with God." To which I can relate. What brought bout yours?

A: Well, for the past 14 years I've struggled with all kinds of health issues from severe eczema (a skin rash) to anxiety (from the skin rash). I've learned to put my faith and trust in Jesus because without Him I wouldn't be here. I love writing how I feel-and sometimes how I feel is ANGRY. If Jesus is God and He can heal me instantly, then why does he wait? Or why am I still single? Those are probably where my most angry conversations with God happen!!

Q: Can you share a sample devotional you think my readers would like?

A: Sure, I hope your readers will love this one...

Week 25: Wednesday, page 152
Evidence of Blessing

I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God: Do not condemn me, but tell me what charges you have against me. — Job 10: 1-2

Job is angry. No, he’s pissed. He’s not hiding it anymore. In fact, if he were standing in front of you and me today, he might drop a curse word or two. The poor man was clearly suffering. Sometimes we feel like that, too.

In the New Testament we’re told to rejoice in suffering, and in the Old Testament we see suffering for what it is — tough. Our body’s natural reaction is to fix whatever is wrong and to not experience pain. Pain hurts. It’s uncomfortable, and sometimes it’s too much for us to bear.

The hardest part of our pain is not getting angry at God. From the very beginning, Job’s wife urged him to curse God and die (see Job 2:9). He never did. Job had too much class. In the midst of losing his children, material possessions, health, and sanity, he somehow kept it together.

This verse is one of my favorites in all of Scripture because it shows the appropriate response to our trials: vent to Jesus. He already knows anyway. Tell him. Complain to Jesus. Charles H. Spurgeon said, “Could this not be the reason God is dealing with you? Being left alone by Satan is not evidence of being blessed.”

Like Job, your trials could be the direct result of being in Jesus’ will and the evidence of his blessing.

Dear Jesus Who Blesses: Don’t let Satan mess with us. When we feel we can’t continue, remind us that there is a blessing waiting for us at the end of our trials. Amen.
If you're looking for a devotional like this,  check out her book's website. You can also click on
“Community” to share your stories with Renee's community.

1 comment:

Caridad said...

I am skeptical of devotionals, but I really really like this. Thank you both!

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