Cyd and Geoff are both pastors at Vineyard North in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Cyd is also a ministry and life coach, and a spiritual director. And Geoff is an affiliate professor of theology at Northern Seminary, and is the co-author of Prodigal Christianity. They have been married for 20 years and have two teenage boys.
You can find Cyd and Geoff on:
Does God Really Like Me? by Cyd & Geoff Holsclaw
The Soul of Shame by Curt Thompson
Chapter 1 - Does God Really Like Me?
Most of us have some vague sense that God loves us. We hear that idea thrown around a lot in our churches. After all, God is love and it’s because of His love for us that He sent His son to die on the cross for our sins. But for a lot of us, this idea that God loves us remains an idea. It’s in our heads. We have a hard time getting that idea from our heads down into our hearts so that we feel connected to God and His love. And that's why it's important to grasp the idea that Geoff and Cyd Holsclaw are putting forth in their book, Does God Really Like Me? Because it’s one thing to hear someone tell you that God loves you. It’s another to hear that God actually likes you and wants to connect with you. For those of us who have a hard time walking in God’s love, this realization can open doors to experiencing joy in God’s presence as he shows us who we are as His beloved sons and daughters.
Chapter 2 - Why is the Fall the Death of Joy?
Why is it that we struggle to find joy? If joy comes from relationships (either with God or other people), the loss of joy then comes from the loss of those relationships. In this chapter, Geoff and Cyd unpack a bit of a big picture look at the story the Bible tells of the way our joy died. We now know what it's like to feel the loss of joy. We know what it's like to feel shame. And a lot of our actions are motivated from a desire to hide from shame or to get back our joy. The problem is we are terrible at doing this. And our attempts usually create more of a mess than when we started, leading to a never-ending cycle. The good news is we have a way to get our joy back. The main story of Scripture is that God is the God who wants to be with us and the God who wants to work through us. It means he wants to restore his relationship with us to give us back our joy. In short, he wants to restore our identity as his beloved children. He wants us to know that he delights in us!
Chapter 3 - Moving From Shame to Identity in Christ
Do you feel secure in your identity in Christ? We all want to feel the warmth of the Father’s love for us and buy into the idea that God really does love us, but it always seems like there is something in the way. We have a hard to believing that we are worthy of love. We fear that if others really knew us, that they wouldn’t accept us. Our shame of who we are keeps us from truly believing what God has said about us: that we are his beloved sons and daughters. Shame keeps us from the Father, and so we must deal with it. That’s why in this chapter Geoff and Cyd explain how shame is actually the problem behind sin.
Chapter 4 - Your Shame Can Be Redeemed
Earlier this week, Cyd and Geoff reminded us that God is always pursuing us. In fact, he's always making the first move to find us where we are and bring us back into relationship with him. But sometimes he uses the distance that exists between us and him to do a work in our lives. This is exactly what the people of Israel experienced during the Exile. It's a reminder for us that God's work is always redemptive. It's always meant to bring us back to him. And he will use whatever situation we find ourselves in to accomplish that goal of redeeming us. In this chapter, Cyd and Geoff walk us through the ways God's taught them about his redemptive work. And it may just be the best news you've heard today!
Chapter 5 - If God Likes Me, Why Should I Change?
In this chapter, Josh and Chris discuss how this conversation with Geoff and Cyd have impacted their life. The idea that God not only loves us but likes us provides a perspective to see how God is constantly seeking ways to be with us. The story of Scripture becomes about God wanting to be with us and work through us. This profoundly changes the way we approach discipleship. Our walk with Jesus becomes about learning from Him how to be in a relationship with the Father. And it’s through this relationship that God transforms our lives and changes the world.