February 28, 2011

God's Faithfulness: Meeting Dr. Mary Poplin

Who is like our God?

Here's the back story:

In college, I was involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF).  Sidenote: Met Colin there, yup!  The first two years, Tom Grosh was our staff worker.  He trained us well in Bible study and alway encouraged us to seek the Lord, get to know the Word, step out in faith.  I learned a lot from Tom.

We've maintained a connection over the years through prayer/support emails for him and his family and seeing each other a few times.  This past summer, now that we're back in Pittsburgh, we were able to visit with the Groshes at a small bbq with other supporters and old IVCF friends.  I mentioned to Tom my desire to grow as a speaker and writer.  And, God bless him, he's taken my comment to heart and is offering me opportunities to develop through reading good literature and (maybe - it's in the prayer phase) doing some writing for the Emerging Scholar's Network blog.

With the retreat coming up in April, I asked Tom if I could borrow a book.  As God would have it, Tom was coming to town the following weekend, was able to stay a night with us, and

brought me FOUR books.

I started by reading one that I had not requested, but seemed to fit well with the retreat topic: service.  The book?  Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service by Mary Poplin.

I was so taken with the writing, Mother Teresa, and the challenging questions Mary posited throughout the book.  I was half way through before the middle of the following week.

And Mary Poplin was going to be in Pittsburgh that Friday!

Unfortunately, I was not going to be able to attend her talk at the CMU Veritas Forum.  But, Tom knew Mary's schedule, and arranged for her to come to our home for a brief interview.  If you're my friend on Facebook, you know I was just a little excited!

Wow, an author and scholar in my kitchen!  And what a lovely Christian woman.  You can read the story of her conversion (in her forties!) here.

I planned to share some of that interview with you here, but it will have to wait for the next post.  For now, I'll leave you with these thoughts:

  • Praise God for the body of Christ, the Chruch, and how He uses us to sharpen, encourage, and spur one another on!  Meeting Mary would not have happened if Tom had not taken in interest in this young lady's heart's desire.  And, of course, there was Mary willingness to come to a strange girl's house for a chat.  I'm so grateful!
  • It's been less than two years since I decided to try pursuing a dream, and God has been SO FAITHFUL in giving me experiences and speaking through His word into my life.  What do you dream about, how can you step out and develop and use your gifts starting TODAY, trusting that God will prove Himself faithful?
Stay tuned for a post about my conversation with Mary.  Until then:

The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upong you and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26


  1. Hi Heather,
    A mutual friend sent me a link to your blog -- they thought you might be interested in a great event we've got coming up THIS Sat night at Bellefield church, right on 5th Ave in Oakland. Dr Hugh Ross, an astronomer/philosopher/theologian will be speaking on Science v Faith issues. He's a fascinating international voice on this topic, and is taking open Q&A after a short presentation. 7-10pm, right in our sanctuary. Appropriate for believers and non alike, Hugh's perspective is fascinating, perfect for the University Community. You can get tickets here:

    or give me a call at 412.600.4785 (cell) if you'd like more info, and please pass this on to people in your network. I work at Bellefield and would be happy to help -- thanks!

    Kathy Emmons
    ps: Mary Poplin is a friend of mine!

  2. Kathy, thanks for your comment and welcome to the blog! I won't be able to come this Saturday, but I'll pass it along to folks at City Reformed.

    We actually married at Bellefield and are only recently returned to Pittsburgh after many years in Cambridge, MA. It's great to be back! :)