By Josh DeGroot
May 30, 2016
Have you ever finished reading your daily Today devotion and wondered what inspired the author’s thoughts and reflections? If so, our “Who Wrote It” feature is just for you. Listen to this podcast interview and follow along with the transcript below to learn more about this month’s author and what he hopes you might take away from this series.
Josh DeGroot - Welcome to Today devotional’s, Who Wrote It, where we get inspiration behind the writing of some of our Today authors. Kurt Selles is in Studio A with me talking about his inspiration for his writing on June’s Today. Kurt, thanks for joining me.
Kurt Selles - It is really a pleasure to be here. Thank you, Josh.
Josh DeGroot - As I previewed this whole month, the first devotional actually stood out to me because you talked about chaos, and I think more than ever people everywhere are fearing chaos; especially with terrorism attacks and everything else. In what ways do you personally find peace in the scriptures; and do you perhaps find the peace from writing – writing these devotions?
Kurt Selles - That is a really good question. I think that when I set out to write this I wasn’t really thinking about terrorism per se, but it is so appropriate for what we are experiencing all over the world these last months; and I would say I find peace in the larger story of the Bible, sort of God’s narrative that holds it all together. I mean, I look around me, I don’t see the peace, I don’t see the certainty, but knowing and rehearsing in my life and hearing it on Sunday mornings just strengthens the structure for my being able to live confidently in the world; and I think that in terms of working on the Holy Spirit in the month of June, I really set out to dig into something that I could grow from also; and so, yes, I definitely benefitted from writing those devotions on the Holy Spirit.
Josh DeGroot - Do you have a specific place or time or strategy on how you come up with how you want to write and what you want people to learn from this month?
Kurt Selles - Well, I set out to do something that I felt could be teaching as well as daily inspiration because I come from a teaching background, and so for me the most interesting things are where I am learning something and it touches me in a deep way in that way. So I just thought: Okay, why not do something on the Trinity? So, this is actually the third part of this series. I did one on the names of God, I did one on the names of Jesus. It is a little bit more difficult to do something on the names of the Holy Spirit. So you have to do something on the names and the work of the Holy Spirit. I think that worked out the best. So, I am just thinking ahead and I am not sure what I am going to do next. I am going to do one for 2017, and I am kind of thinking about taking a book in the Bible and dividing it up into 30 pieces or 31 or whatever; just so that readers have a chance to read through a whole book of the Bible, and sort of picking out some of the main ideas or main themes in each part. So, I guess I am thinking along the lines of, I want to do some teaching, but also let it connect with people’s daily lives.
Josh DeGroot - And like you said, I am sure a lot of it is actual experiences that happened to you, right? I mean, those are the stories that come through in Today¸ absolutely. At the end of the month, you talk about using the gifts God has given us for his glory. What ways can we be a gift to many people, besides just using a dinner table devotional?
Kurt Selles - Well, I think a part of it has to do with discerning what gifts you have. So, you read about them in the Bible, and perhaps you are thinking…you are measuring up. You are saying: Okay, I don’t have that gift. Maybe it is the gift of hospitality or it is the gift of teaching or leadership; but maybe you have some gift. In fact, I can say with confidence, you do have some gift. So it is a matter of discernment; but I don’t think it is enough to only measure up in your own mind. I think there is a discernment process that goes with listening to what other people say to you. The sort of wisdom of the saints. People saying: You know, Josh, you are really good at this, or I really see some strengths here in terms of how you do that, or something like that. So I think it is an ongoing life sort of discernment process. Certainly you know that you have some gifts and you want to use those gifts; you want to cultivate those gifts; but there may be some others that you are not using that you should be in the process of asking the Holy Spirit to help you discern where you can make a contribution to the body of Christ, because that is really what the gifts are for, for other people and for building the Church.
Josh DeGroot - Now, everyone will take something different away from this month, or some stories, some type of passage. If it were up to you, what would it be?
Kurt Selles - I think it would be just awareness of the Holy Spirit’s power in everyday life, because I think that we tend to focus on God the Father and God the Son, and I think rightly so because we can sort of, in our minds at least, get some glimpse of what those two figures mean; but I think with the Holy Spirit, it is much more difficult because he is not just identified with one sort of way of understanding him. There are various images, metaphors, and various things that he does; and I think his own humility is a big part of that because he is self-effacing, he is never pointing to himself. The Holy Spirit never says: Hey, look at me. The Holy Spirit is always pointing to Jesus; and so I think that…you know, focusing on that part of the Holy Spirit is pointing to Jesus and being sensitive to his leading and to his guidance is really what I hope that readers can take away from these devotions this month.
Josh DeGroot - One thing you have expressed is, if you allow the Holy Spirit to actively work in your life, joy will come with it, and I do think this month is a nice summary of being able to accept God’s goodness into our lives and enjoy being a Christian, which is great
All right; you have been listening to Kurt Selles, current director of Back to God Ministries International, and our writer for June’s Today devotional. I am Josh DeGroot. May you be refreshed, refocused, renewed in God’s Word.
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