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Simply Stories Podcast

Sep 23, 2021

Today on the podcast is the incredible and much beloved author Jody Hedlund. Jody is the author of a vast array of books ranging in topics, locations, historical people, and places in time. One of her latest novels engages the mystery of the miracles that took place in Canterbury England during the Middle Ages. Come Back to Me is full of early church history, mixed with a little bit of fantasy, the Tree of Life from the Garden of Eden and Revelation, and sifting through what's fact and fiction is absolutely fascinating. Jody is spectacularly gifted at using stories to capture the attention of our hearts, and highlighting where God has moved in the past to help us see where He is moving now. 

This is one of those episodes where you I got to unpack all the things that just bring me a lot of joy: the power of the Gospel, the power of stories, what history teaches us (and how much I still don’t know about history) and how allllll of that applies to everyday life. So much of the Church’s history carries deep wounds, but the Gospel survives throughout history even when broken people twist it to their own advantage, because the gift of Christ cannot be tarnished and His Word cannot be stopped. (All the praise hands!)

Jody is just a fascinating woman of faith, and she brings such fascinating insight into how stories hold space for conversations in everyday life. As a Mom of multiple teens and a youth small group leader, she offers poignant perspective about conversations with the next generation about hard things. They are growing up under tremendous pressure, and confusion about who they are, what constitutes a healthy relationship just to name a few things. The importance of knowing God’s Word, and developing a relationship with the Lord so that Spirit can lead you in times of plenty and times of famine is imperative in the lives of all people. If we don’t know how to find and drink from the water of life, we’ll end up digging our own cisterns and that does not lead to the abundant life Christ died to give us. (Jeremiah 2:13, John 10:10)

I hope and pray that we will seek the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength so that those things can be so real in us, it overflows onto others, our neighbors, of all ages, and all struggles. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story. Tell of what God has done in your life. Tell of where you’ve struggled, wrestled and questioned, and then share where God met you in it. It means more than you will ever know. Because you matter friend, your story matters.


Connecting with Jody:



-Jody’s Reader Room






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-”Talking to Jesus”- Maverick City Music featuring Brandon Lake 

-John Bunyan- her book The Preacher’s Bride 


-Erin Bartels and the “Michigan Mitten”

-Bride ships (not exclusive to this area, but here’s a historical idea) - her books

-Orphan Trains- her books

-Her Young Adult fiction, Fairest Maiden Series and Lost Princesses, etc.  

-Martin Luther // her book: Luther and Katharina

-John Newton // her book: Newton and Polly 

-Heidi Chivaroli (one of my favorite dual timeline authors)

-The Middle Ages

-”Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” (my personal favorite version of the options out there. The Disney version not withstanding) 


-Holy Water, St. Thomas ampullas and then the pilgrim ones (I think and details of their history)

-Canterbury Cathedral (this also shares a lot about Thomas) and the “miracle windows” 

-realistic visions with the Holy Water from the life of Christ 

-”life giving” water research, legends about fountain of youth, etc. 

-Wallsingham miracles / archives

-Canterbury miracles

-Hundred Years War between England and France

-Peasants Revolt against the nobility and the clergy / Wat Tyler’s Rebellion

-The Crusades

-King Richard I ( the Lionheart )

-the other King Richard II (a TWEEN King. Crazy)

-Dr. Bryan Litfin (our episode, his books, and his study of the Early Church)

-the Christian persecution by Rome

-Constantine and his conversion to Christianity

-John Wycliffe, the translator of the Bible from Latin to English

-first 3 YA books with Zondervan’s study guides, here is one of them for An Uncertain Choice 

-Purity Culture issues (an example)- ( Additionally Tiffany Bluhm and I talk about this at length in our conversation Episode 79. Her book Prey Tell also talks about this as well.)

-Never Leave Me- pre-order here

-Her new YA series, Knights of the Brethren books 1 and 2 releases November and December

-Cowboy for Keeps, released in January, and the second one The Heart of a Cowboy comes out October 2nd! 


Scripture References:

Genesis 2:9, Genesis 3:22-24-“The Tree of Life” from the Garden of Eden 

Genesis 2:8-17, Genesis 3-“The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” in the Garden of Eden, and the fall 

1 Thessalonians 4:17, 1 John 2:17 -Living forever redeemed with Him 

Revelations 22:1-3-Revelation speaks of a tree of life in Heaven 

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 and 11:18, Psalm 119:11, Colossians 3:16-Hiding God’s word in your heart 

Proverbs 3:5-6, Phillippians 4:8, James 1:5 -being able to distinguish what’s true 

John 8:31-32-the truth will set you free

Ephesians 4:1-live life worthy of your calling

Isaiah 30:21-following the voice of the Spirit 

Acts 9 / Acts 22:6-21 -Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus and his conversion 

Ephesians 6:17-the Word is our sword 

John 14:26-The Holy Spirit would come and remind us of what Jesus said 

Hebrews 4:12-the Word of God is alive

Ecclesiastes 1:9-there is nothing new under the sun 

Genesis 1:27, Ephesians 2:10, Psalm 18:19 Psalm 147:11, Isaiah 62:3-5, Zephaniah 3:17, -we are special to God 

Joel 2:13,Hosea 6:6, Ezekiel 36:26,Psalm 51  -God does not promise blessing for good behavior, He is after our hearts 

-we persevere (a great list of verses from an interesting source lol)

Lamentations 3:22-23, Psalm 33:4 -we can trust Him 

Isaiah 55:8-9,-His ways are higher than ours

Hebrews 11:1-Faith comes down to believing that He is doing something we can’t see

John 16:33-In this world we will have trouble 

Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:26, 1 Corinthians 2:11, -God knows what each person needs to hear 

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

*Intro and Outro music is from