Grace in the Ordinary
Based upon my newest book, Small Talk (Zondervan, October 2014), this talk shares personal stories about experiencing grace in the ordinary stuff of everyday life. I give examples of ordinary “failures” as a mom and the way grace showed up unexpectedly. I also suggest a few practices (prayer, love, listening) that can help us pay attention to the grace that is all around us.
Let the Children Come
This talk looks at the various places in the Gospels where Jesus talks about children. Jesus treats children with equal standing to adults (he heals them and values them), but he also says that children have something crucial to offer the rest of us. Moreover, Jesus calls his disciples “little ones” and urges them to become like children. Again using personal anecdotes, this talk examines the call to become “like children” before God—why we resist that call, what it means to follow that call, and why God would want us to respond to that call.
Praying for Laughter
This talk considers the idea that we can learn to be content in all circumstances. In it, I provide stories and suggestions for how to experience God in the “dramatic hard stuff” of every day life, and perhaps more importantly, how to experience and pursue God in the “ordinary hard stuff” as well.
Be Still and Know
Based upon Psalm 46:10, this talk offers practical suggestions for spiritual growth. In it, I reflect on the trouble we have living out this command to “be still and know that I am God,” the longing we have to live this out, and some practical suggestions about how we might overcome the trouble and satisfy the longings.
This talk addresses our culture’s obsession with perfection and the Bible’s response, weaving together personal anecdote and reading from A Good and Perfect Gift with theological and Biblical insight.
Hope and the Spiritual Imagination
This talk explores the nature of hope, moving from fear to hope, the role of the spiritual imagination in hope, and the source of our hope.
“In a world of too much information on the one hand and too much sentimentally on the other, I am so grateful for a communicator like Amy Julia who both stimulates the mind and stirs the heart. Not only do I always find her words extremely interesting, but I also want to live differently because of what I have heard. She helps me and others who listen to her love the Lord with our minds, with our hearts, with our lives.”
– Corey Widmer, Executive Pastor, Third Church
“Amy Julia has a rare gift of bringing us alongside her as she thinks through complex issues of the Christian life. You will not hear simplistic or unexamined answers. What you will hear is an honest and intelligent voice engaging in a robust examination of a wide range of issues from the quality of life to keeping one’s sanity while raising small children. She is disarmingly honest, funny, wise and winsome.”
– Director of Women’s and Children’s Ministry, Stone Hill Church, Princeton, NJ
“Through her speaking and teaching, Amy Julia uniquely engages individuals to be attentive to their lives in order to recognize how God is revealing himself to them…Her unique gifting to be able to give words to our shared experiences allows her to be seen as a trusted friend and guide for the journey.”
– Jacky Gatliff, Associate Pastor, Stanwich Congregational Church.
“It was a pleasure and honor to have Amy Julia join us for our womens’ event at Princeton University… Amy Julia is a gifted communicator. She is comfortable on stage and is able to engage with the audience while she speaks. She is easy to follow, and her stories illustrate her points perfectly. You can’t listen to Amy Julia without having your heart touched by her message.”
– Danielle Sallade, Senior Staff, Princeton Evangelical Fellowship
“Amy Julia quickly earned the trust of our community with her probing and insightful message and engaging delivery. She challenged us as to how we define “purpose” and “perfection” and invited us to look through God’s lens – a perspective of wholeness, completion and becoming who we are each created to be. We were inspired to re-examine our relational encounters as opportunities for learning, growth and transformation.”
– Rick Woolworth, President, Telemachus