Lysa TerKeurst Good Boundaries and Goodbyes
Pearls with Kristi McLelland

Ep 8 - Defiant Joy

3/21/2022 00:24:03
Ep 8 - Defiant Joy
Today's episode is another example of the ancient and ever Story of the Bible meeting us in our current, modern, right now stories and lives. Our central pearl today is found in James 1:1-2. Some scholars believe that the book of the James was the FIRST book of the New Testament ever penned under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. If this is the case, the first author of the New Testament writings was none other than Jesus' half-brother James. 

If the first two verses of the New Testament are indeed James 1:1-2, it is interesting that both "joy" and "trial" are located in these verses. We have known both in this life. The Jewish people have a long history and rich culture of embracing celebration and lament together. The two do not need to be separated because life does not separate them. We can know moments of great celebration and joy and still feel the sting of lament and trial during it.  

While I was studying in Israel I heard the phrase, "Laughter is our protest". We protest hopelessness and gloom with laughter anchored in hopefulness. In other words, we learn to not only experience joy, but a deeper defiant joy. 

I end today's episode with a recent and very personal story in my own life about practicing defiant joy with my community. We had the chance for lament and celebration to live side by side with us and we shared one special night where laughter was our protest.  

Order your copy of Kristi McLelland's new devotional at

Pearls with Kristi McLelland

Order your copy of Kristi McLelland's new devotional at

In 2007 the Lord opened the door for me to go study the Bible in Egypt and Israel. I went and learned that the Living God is BETTER than I ever knew. When the Lord gave us the Bible, He gave us a Story. It's the best and truest Story ever told.

Each story is like a pearl, beautiful and of great price on its own. But what's more beautiful is stringing the biblical pearls together. Through the Bible, we know who the Living God is, what He's like and what it is to walk with Him. In this teaching podcast, we are going to string 12 of my most favorite biblical pearls together.

We do not just read the Bible - we interact with it. It is living and active and so we are we. When we sit down with the Word of God, it is life with life. The Bible is like a great feast. Great food is best experienced with great people, so welcome and please subscribe to join me at the biblical table for every episode of Pearls. We are getting ready to learn over and over that the Living God is BETTER than we ever knew.

Kristi is a professor at Williamson College and serves as a biblical culturalist. She has a Masters in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary and has dedicated her life to teaching people how to study the Bible.


One of my faves!

Kristi has opened my eyes to cultural ways of the Bible that I had no idea. It has really put so much perspective on the love story from God to us in His Word. I regular listen to her and do her Bible studies with diligence of thoughts to learn more.


Have so enjoyed her teaching. Opening up so much more of Gods word to me. Thank you for your insight.