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Simply Stories Podcast

Dec 10, 2021

Today, we are going to talk more about unpacking the gift of Emmanuel, God with us, with one of my absolute favorite people, Dorena Williamson. Exactly one hundred episodes ago, Dorena became a part of the simply stories life. She’s a children’s book author, a writer, a pastor’s wife and incredible preacher herself whose passion for God’s people and pursuing Biblically diverse unity in the body of Christ has impacted so many people, including myself, and my family. Her books provide verbiage for examining the language we use about our fellow image bearers and modeling those things to our children so that we can better love and serve like Jesus. We talk about what that looks like in this season, the incredible sacrifice of Christ’s coming at Christmas, and so much more.

Looking back on what all you’ll get to hear in this episode, I just am personally remembering these few takeaways from this conversation:

-The call to portray a gospel-centered view of others when we give and serve others around the holidays. That we don’t place ourselves higher than others, we just learn how to see and engage felt needs in the communities where we live, and love and serve them like a true neighbor. One major way we can do this is by carefully choosing our words and offering a perspective for our children that shows care for others; those that we are serving are or who we may see that are struggling are also part of the body of Christ.

-Pressing into uncomfortable conversations with the children in our lives about what they are inevitably going to encounter or have already encountered with a Gospel centered perspective. Dorena reminds us so beautifully “we are the people of God, we can do this,” And whether its about how we treat others, skin color, sex, friends who have different abilities or a whole long list of other things happening in life, if we don’t engage with our children about these things, something or someone will. The Lord will equip us, and He will meet us in it. 

-We break down a good bit of the conversation with Jesus around the story of the Good Samaritan and the heart behind the question “who is my neighbor?” I’m still processing who are my neighbors because the Lord has put them in my path, not because they’re the most comfortable people I feel prepared to connect with, but because the Lord saw fit to place them and me for such a time as this. Will I say yes?

This is such a rich conversation, and I cannot wait for you to hear it. I hope and pray that wherever you are, you find new ways to experience Emmanuel, God with us. I pray that we all choose to press into His presence, and choose to grow because of the light He shines in the dark. God’s not finished with any of us. You matter, friend. And your story matters.

Connecting with Dorena:

Books: Colorfull, Thoughtfull, Gracefull, The Celebration Place (Her newest Crowned with Glory coming in 2022!) Here’s a link pre-order The Story of Juneteenth!






Episode Sponsor: Tony Crabtree of Crabtree Homes with Exit Realty 

Home buyer guide:

Seller guide:






-Mr. Randall (aka Randall Goodgame from “Slugs and Bugs”) and Dorena on this episode of S&B and his episode with me

-My episode with Dr. Chris Williamson (her husband) from last Christmas (Episode 64)

-The first time that Dorena and I hung out was episode 10 and 11 

-Dr. Chris’ rap group (I just love this)

-Their church Strong Tower Bible Church in Franklin, TN

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

-Memes of the worship hands 

-Michelle Reyes, our episode 104 and our instagram conversation talking about having a multicultural Christmas

-The Red Road 

-Adam (my brother in law) and I chatting about Indigenous Peoples history and current issues on instagram live 

-Fuller Story historic markers in TN, and the U.S. Colored Troop soldier statue

-What happened in Charlottesville, VA


-The origin of the USCT after the Emancipation Proclamation 

-Mama Bear Apologetics: Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies (the first one), the newest one is Mama Bear Apologetics Guide to Sexuality: Empowering Your Kids to Understand and Live Out God’s Design 

-Juneteenth (just made a federal holiday!)

Scripture References:

Isaiah 43:1-7-God created us uniquely to express His glory

Genesis 1:28-31-We are all made in God’s image

Eph 2:14-Eph 2:15-Jesus broke down dividing walls 

John 14:16, Acts 2-We were given the Holy Spirit

Matthew 4:18-22,Mark 1:16-20,Luke 5:1-11, John 1:35-51-God raised up leaders (calling of the disciples and starting the church)

Matthew 6:10-Experiencing the Kingdom of God on Earth as it is in Heaven

Hebrews 13:8-Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever

Jesus died and rose from the grave (lots of verses)

Matthew 1-2; Luke 1-2-The Christmas story

Genesis 38-Tamar

Joshua 2, 6:16-19,6:23 -Rahab

2 Samuel 11-David and Bathsheeba


Matthew 1-Jesus’ lineage

Luke 2:41-52 Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; John 2:12; John 7:3; John 7:5; John 7:10;-struggles with Jesus’ earthly parents and siblings

1 Corinthians 15:7 Acts 1:14; 1 Corinthians 9:5; Galatians 1:19 -redemption because his brothers James (actually named Jacob… more on that here) and Jude (author of the book of Jude)

John 19:25-27-Jesus cared for his mother from the cross

Acts 1 and 2 - birth of the Church and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit

Acts 2:44-47 -how they broke bread and they cared for each other / they sold their possessions and shared with those who didn’t have

Acts 6:1-7-the widows that were being passed over 

Matthew 16:24-26-deny ourselves and take up the cross and follow Jesus

Luke 10:25-37-”but who is my neighbor?” (which is part of the conversation with the love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and The Good Samaritan)

Psalm 139:23-24-search me and know my heart 

John 16:33- in this world you WILL have trouble 

Matthew 5:27-28-You haven’t murdered, but have you hated? You haven’t committed adultery, but have you known lust?

Connecting with Emily and Simply Stories Podcast:
Instagram (Em life // Podcast Life)

*Intro and Outro music is from