Amanda and A. J.

Amanda and A. J.
Want to make your commute pass a little faster? Listen to LIVING IN EXILE: a weekly conversation between student minister A. J. Farley and biblical scholar Amanda Hope Haley. We usually discuss Scripture and how God is speaking to the modern Church through it, but sometimes we get way off topic and just have fun. We hope our podcasts will encourage you to read Scripture on your own, form your own opinions, and maybe challenge us from time to time. We know our exegesis isn't always right; we're just doing the best we can to understand what the Spirit has to say to us today. If you consider yourself "in the world but not of the world" and "in the Church but not of the church," then this podcast is for you! Season 1's episodes (powered by Feedburner) discussing Ezra and Nehemiah are available at

Friday, January 31, 2014

Life Happens...Especially in Exile

Dear faithful listeners,

Life has happened to your podcasters. I write to you from Middle-of-Nowhere, Kansas, as my David and I drive the final 300 miles of our move to Denver. A. J. will be sporadically checking his social media from Ohio, where his mother is very ill. We hope to be back to broadcasting next Friday . . . but life may "happen" again.

You expected to hear us tie up our exegesis of Ezra-Nehemiah today, so I'll give you a couple of teasers:

1. As soon as Nehemiah (cat) is away, the Israelites (mice) play.
2. Nehemiah (cat) comes "back, the very next day. They though he was a goner, but . . . he wouldn't stay away."

In chapter 13, Nehemiah has finished his mission in Jerusalem and returned to working in the Persian court when he learns that the Israelites are up to their old sins. He again drops everything to run to the next life-crisis.

2010 Nashville Flood in Amanda's neighborhood
In our fallen world, crises happen. In exile, we Christians do our best to plan our lives--be dedicated workers and loving family members--but sometimes life happens. I would hazard that those "happenings" are often God's way of putting us back on His track and reminding us that He is the one in control.

This week, as you anxiously await the conclusion of Nehemiah's memoir, ask yourself if your personal plans are aiding or inhibiting God's kingdom work. Are you willing to drop everything and run back to "Jerusalem" where His people need you?

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