A Bible Reading Revolution: An Interview with Tara-Leigh Cobble

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This is a podcast episode titled, A Bible Reading Revolution: An Interview with Tara-Leigh Cobble. The summary for this episode is: <p>Our new friend&nbsp;<a href="https://www.instagram.com/taraleighcobble/?hl=en" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"><strong>Tara-Leigh Cobble</strong></a>&nbsp;joins us today for a raw and open conversation about our relationship with God and what it looks like to pursue growing deeper with Him. Tara-Leigh is passionate about the word of God, and you all will be blown away by all of her knowledge. She is the founder of both D-Group (Discipleship Group) and her podcast,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.instagram.com/thebiblerecap/?hl=en" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"><strong><em>The Bible Recap</em></strong></a>, which guides you through reading the Bible in a year.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>In this conversation, Tara-Leigh discusses why she started her podcast and how it led to a better understanding of the Bible. We hope that this conversation encourages you in the purpose God has for your life. Tune in as we open up and get honest about surviving hard times, building friendships, and strengthening our relationship with God.</p><p><br></p><p><strong>Craving more from Going There the Podcast?</strong> Come be our friend! Make sure you’re following along on Instagram <a href="https://www.instagram.com/goingtherethepodcast/?hl=en" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">@goingtherethepodcast</a> and subscribe to our podcast so that you never miss a new episode!</p><p><br></p><p>If you love what you heard, we’d be so happy if you left us a rating and review on your podcast app. This way, more people can find us and join our fun convo!</p><p><br></p><p><strong>Resources:</strong></p><p><a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-bible-recap/id1440833267" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Listen to The Bible Recap Podcast</a></p><p><a href="https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/17553-the-bible-recap-with-tara-leigh-cobble" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">The Bible Recap Reading Plan</a></p><p><a href="https://www.thebiblerecap.com/dgroup" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Join D-Group!</a></p><p><br></p><p><strong>Key Takeaways:</strong></p><p>01:17&nbsp;-&nbsp;02:24 Introducing Tara-Leigh Cobble</p><p>03:11&nbsp;-&nbsp;05:13 Why Tara-Leigh created her podcast, Bible Recap</p><p>08:25&nbsp;-&nbsp;11:50 When finding tensions - Dive deeper into your relationship with God</p><p>13:02&nbsp;-&nbsp;16:04 Tara-Leigh's Discipleship Group</p><p>18:47&nbsp;-&nbsp;23:16 Breaking down barriers - Having a close friend of the opposite sex</p><p>25:57&nbsp;-&nbsp;29:10 Surviving the last couple of years with God</p><p>36:58&nbsp;-&nbsp;38:05 Prayer</p>
Introducing Tara-Leigh Cobble
01:07 MIN
Why Tara-Leigh created her podcast, Bible Recap
02:01 MIN
When finding tensions - Dive deeper into your relationship with God
03:25 MIN
Tara-Leigh's Discipleship Group
03:02 MIN
Breaking down barriers - Having a close friend of the opposite sex
04:29 MIN
Surviving the last couple of years with God
03:13 MIN
Prayer
01:06 MIN

Samantha: Let's get real.

Christian: Who wants to have another surface level conversation?

Samantha: Not us. I'm Samantha.

Christian: And I'm Christian, two friends having raw but truth- filled conversations about the messiness of life.

Samantha: So buckle up and don't be shy.

Christian: Because yup, we're going there.

Samantha: We're going there. Hello, we are so excited today to have our new friend... Can we call you friend? We just met a few minutes ago.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah, absolutely.

Christian: Yes.

Samantha: But Tara- Leigh Cobble on with us and if you just heard her speak, I feel like your voice is so recognizable to so many people. So we are so excited to have you on. Thank you for joining us today.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Thanks for having me. I'm thrilled to be here.

Samantha: Yeah, Christian and I were kind of just telling you, but we are personally... I feel weird saying fans of yours, but we just really respect what you've done with this ministry or both of your ministries, and we've personally done your Bible reading plan the past few years. I know of a lot of our listeners have joined in and done that as well. And so we were excited to talk to you because you're someone that we just look up to a lot, love following you on social media, and seeing all that you do. So yeah, we're excited.

Christian: Yeah, thank you so much-

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Thank you.

Christian: ...for joining us today. Tara- Leigh, why don't you even just start off. Tell us a little bit about yourself. What does just your life look like? What does your work look like? Tell us all the things.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Well, I'm Tara- Leigh Cobble, I live in Dallas. I am from Tennessee, but I've been in Texas for a few years, and I just live in this box in the sky.

Samantha: That's fun.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: I love it, it's amazing. I don't have any pets or plants or children. Actually, I have plants. I do have plants and I-

Christian: And you're keeping them alive?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: I'm keeping them alive.

Samantha: Look at you.

Christian: There you go.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: They're so alive, they look fake.

Samantha: I was going to say," So is that real?" It looks really pretty.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah, that is real. That is real. But yeah, I don't have anything else I have to keep alive besides these plants. I love the word of God. I think the word of God matters so much to the heart of every human, but especially to the heart of those who are in relationship with God, who have been adopted into His family. So I'm just passionate about that and I run a few ministries that are geared around biblical literacy. D- Group is one of them. It stands for a Discipleship Group. It's an international network of Bible studies that meet in homes and churches around the world every week. And then separate from that, I do a thing called The Bible Recap, which you guys have mentioned, which is a podcast where we read through the Bible in a year. It's also a book, and then I lead trips to Israel, where we study the word of God on site, on location. I'd love for you guys to come with me sometimes.

Samantha: Well, I said that right before it started. My in- laws have been to Israel a lot. My father- in- law is actually a messianic Jew, and so they love going there. And so my husband and I have really been wanting to go. Obviously, COVID threw all that off. I've even told him, I'm like," If we go to Israel, I want to figure out how to go on one of inaudible Tara- Leigh Cobble trips," because I watch you go on them and have seen photos, and I just think that'd be so cool, especially after hearing how you kind of talk and teach the word through your podcast and your Bible plan.

Christian: It's amazing inaudible.

Samantha: Will you tell us a little bit as we kind of get started? I want to hear about D- Group, but how did The Bible Recap get started? How did you think to do that? And then what was that process like recording all of those podcasts for each day the first time? I can't imagine.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Wow. Yeah, right? The reason that I created Bible Recap was because I grew up in church. I became a Christian around the age of four. My family owns a Christian bookstore. I went into ministry during college, went into full- time ministry right out of college and had every outlet in the world, every availability, every opportunity to read the whole Bible and just never had. Had tried several times, had failed several times. Every time I tried, I failed. And a pastor friend of mine, who I ran into in ministry circles, asked me one time if I'd read the whole Bible. I was like," I'm sure I've pieced it together over time." He said," I think you should start today and you should read it all and you should say very little on stage until you've finished." I was challenged, felt a little bit like a gentle rebuke, but it was just this opportunity that I leaned into because he offered to answer my questions along the way. And I never realized that the reason I stopped reading the Bible, every time I failed, I never realized that it was because I didn't understand what I was reading. I thought I was bored by what I was reading. But if I had understood it, I wouldn't have been bored.

Samantha: There's no way.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah, and so when I had him explaining things to me throughout the process, anytime I would hit a tension point, like something that I didn't like or something that I didn't understand, I would ask him and he would explain it to me, and that's why I made it through the Bible the first time. The whole reason I succeeded was because I started to understand, and so I just wanted to do that for as many people as possible. I wanted to do for them what he did for me on an individual level. So I started The Bible Recap, where you read through the Bible in a year, it's about 12 minutes of reading a day and about eight minutes of me talking to you on a podcast to explain what you just read. Or for people who prefer the book, it's two pages a day of reading, so that is something I started doing. We launched January 1st, 2019, so we're now on our fourth trip through the Bible. And recording, man, the first year of building it all out, it was rough.

Samantha: So much.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: You guys know how hard it is to do a podcast.

Samantha: How many are you doing a day?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: A podcast a day.

Samantha: Yeah.

Christian: Yeah.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Well, I was building the plane while we were flying. I was maybe a week ahead most times-

Samantha: Oh, gosh.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: ...and it was about, on average, a hundred hours of work a week.

Samantha: Oh, my goodness.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: And so I would literally just roll out of bed in my pajamas and go sit at my dining room table and work for 16 hours and then go back to bed. And I did that for 15 months.

Samantha: I'm like... That's crazy.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: So it was a lot work.

Christian: That's insane. That's like so much.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: It was insane, yeah. I saw five people that year. I told all the rest of my friends," I'll see you in a year," but I have to... I can't spread myself thin. I need relationships that are deep and rich, and that will help me stay afloat during this time, and so I just chose five friendships to sort of sit in during that time because it was a lot of work for sure.

Samantha: Well, we're thankful for it.

Christian: Well, that's why I am so thankful for all of the work you put in. And, again, even just as you say that, I love that you had intention behind the number of minutes it was, the number of pages it was, that you thought through all those things because I mean, I can sit here and say," The number of times I tried reading through the whole Bible..." And like you're saying," I stopped because I'm like this has no relevance in my life or I'm confused or that seems insane." I just had all these things, I didn't have someone kind of thread through the needle for me every time. Being like," Oh, that's why that makes sense. Or that's why that's so important. Or that's why it's so impactful to the gospel story." And so that's what your Bible Recap has done for me. And we've told many people, it's made specifically the Old Testament come to life because if you don't understand the Old Testament, the New Testament doesn't really make sense. Or it's not as weighty, it's not as exciting. And it really has done all those things for our heart and minds, and so we so appreciate what you've done and would suggest that to anyone to go do it for themselves.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: That's so encouraging, praise God. Yeah, the Old Testament, man. There's so much rich stuff in there. It's incredible.

Christian: Yeah.

Samantha: Yeah, there's some crazy stories too. There's some stories I'm like," Okay," even after I hear you explain it on the podcast or if I look up some stuff on my own. I'm like," That one's still a little odd to me or confusing," but it's also humbling to know I'm not always going to understand everything about this too, but I can continue to dive into it and ask God to help me understand as well. We always talk about the questions even that you have on day one of the Bible or of the first thing you read before each day are so great too because it really helps put your posture towards wanting God to enter into that with you and not just be about," Okay, let me read and read for the sake of this knowledge," but also like," I want this to transform my heart. I want God to work through these words. That's why we have His word," and so I love that.

Christian: Yeah, we wanted to ask you now, obviously, you have read through the Bible many times over the years. Is there anything in the Bible or just in general that you're like," It's still really hard for me to wrap my head around this," or like," This is really still weird to me"? Is there anything that you're like," Yeah, after reading through it so many times, I still have a really hard time digesting this"? Is there anything?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: There are loads of things, loads and loads.

Christian: What are some things at the top of the list?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: If you were to ask me this question every day, I would be able to probably give you a different answer every day. There's still things that are super perplexing and bewildering. I think one thing, it's more than anything, more than something that is... A lot of the things that feel incongruent or that feel conflicting as I've read and as I've studied, I've been able to resolve a lot of those tensions. There are some spaces that tensions still exist obviously, but the things that make me more excited to think about are not trying to resolve those tensions, but it's just these little things that where we get just a little bit of information and I'm still like," I want to know more, I want to know more." For instance, yesterday, what are the thoughts that I was just thinking over and... I was like," What did the transfiguration look like physically? If I'm seeing the transfiguration with my eyes, what does that look like? Can I look at Jesus as He's being transfigured? Or is it too much? What's happening in other dimensions in that sort of situation that's happening there?" And even the fact that Jesus' resurrection body could walk through walls and yet still eat fish. Like," What?" Just things like that I'm like," This is so exciting and weird." Some people don't like to say that things in the Bible are weird, I think it's fair game.

Samantha: I think so.

Christian: Yeah.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: But yeah, I'm just like inaudible," I want to spend time spinning on those things. What did that look like?" Or if I could transport myself to any location at any time in history, I would want to be on the road to Emmaus with Jesus and the guys. The day He resurrects, He takes this long walk, and He's telling these guys all the ways that all the Old Testament prophecies point to Him, and He's explaining all of it to them, and then He goes and has dinner with them and then He just kind of like disappears. I'm just like," What I wouldn't give to be one of those guys on road to Emmaus?"

Christian: You'll be walking down the road and Jesus walks by and you're like,"Oh." And you're like that person who never stops following. You're like," Can I ask you one more question? Can I ask you one more question?" I can see that. That's awesome. I love what you said about the tension. I think that is currently what God is teaching me just in this season of my life, even as I read through the Bible. And it's just like, yeah. It's been a season for me that I think God is just in His graciousness and goodness is showing me that since we live in a world that is all ready but not yet that there's going to be tension in everything. And I think that's by His grace, to me, that I'm not comfortable here or things aren't easy here or things aren't just simple and black and white. They're gray and they're hard and there's tension and there's push and there's pull. And so I see that in my reading, and I'm experiencing that in my current season of life, and so it's just cool.

Samantha: Yeah.

Christian: So I love what you said about that.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: I think as long as our questions, whether they're questions like that tension that we've talked about or whether it's just for curiosities like the road to Emmaus thing, as long as those questions are things that are inviting us into deeper relationship with God because I think there is a space where tension... If I dwell on something like I'm trying to get the answer and I'm more interested in getting the answer than in getting intimacy with the Lord, that's where my questions become a barrier in my relationship with Him as opposed to a conduit for deeper intimacy. And so I think it's really important to hold to the Lord tighter than our questions. So that is something that when I find myself in those spaces of tension, sometimes it's really good for me to dive in and lean in because that's going to get me more intimacy with God as I understand the answers. But if I'm like feeling some sort of it's just a desire for knowledge, if I just want to know the answers, then I try to lean out until my heart gets right.

Christian: Wow, that's good. I should put that and post it to remind myself of that.

Samantha: I think my personality, I can be okay with a lot of unknown like I'll sit... Kind of like you were saying, your brain will just kind of go on and on, I'll have that. And then I'm like, I'm very okay with stepping away and being like," Okay, I just might not ever fully understand that," but I have friends who their personalities and just the way that they're mind works are really like they kind of need to have all the answers. And so I do think that helps us bring balance to both. I can desire and want to know more if it's going to help better my intimacy, like you were saying, but also to some of my friends, it's okay to be like," Hey, kind of need to leave that maybe. Maybe we just won't know the exact answer to that. Or maybe you're getting caught up on the wrong detail of the story when you're like missing what maybe He's wanting us to hear from this." I don't know, that's kind of good to hear.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah.

Christian: Yeah. That's really cool. So obviously, you have The Bible Recap and then you also mentioned D- Group. I want you to talk a little bit about that because we've heard you say this to this concept of when you started D- Group, you wanted it to be like the CrossFit of Bible studies. What do you mean when you say that? And then also from that, what have you seen God do in the community of... Again, I know a little bit about what you mean in that, but what have you seen God do in people studying God's word together?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah. So I started D- Group, it stands for Discipleship Group. And there are lots of other things called D- Group better, not necessarily the same thing. They might have predated us. We just happened to have the same name, but I started it because I wanted people to study the Bible with. When I had just started reading through the Bible and I was finding all this new stuff and I wanted people to talk about it besides that pastor, I was like,"I need to talk to people about this." So I had this idea of a Bible study and I was in a home group at church, but our home group was... It was mostly like we would either rehash the Sunday sermon or we would read a book together or we would just come and hang out and have dinner. And I was like," This is great, but none of this is pressing me into the spiritual disciplines that I want to partake in, and I need something..." There are people who go to the gym if there's a class, if they're participating in a class, but they're never going to go to the gym by themselves. That was me with scripture stuff. So I'm like I want to memorize scripture, I'm not going to do that on my own. I want to read the Bible daily, I'm not going to do that if I don't have to answer for it. I want to study and dive into passage scripture. I want to confess my sin. I want to grow in my prayer habits and be better equipped at praying out loud and interceding for people, praying for people besides myself, but there was no space where those spiritual disciplines were lived out in my life. There were things that could read books about and try to practice at home, but I didn't have a community where that was happening in my life. And so I sort of designed this two- hour weekly meeting where all of those things happened in this one space together. And I went to my pastor and I was like," Do you know if any other people who'd want to do this with me?" And he sent me nine girls I'd never met. I'd met one of them, but the others were relative strangers to me. And it was just like a bunch of college girls getting together in a living room every week and confessing sin and praying for each other out loud and quoting... We memorize chunks of scripture, not just like a verse every week and then forget it by the next week, we're memorizing cumulatively. So we're building our strength. We're getting more reps in, and so hence the CrossFit analogy. If you've been to a CrossFit gym, if people from all walks of life, all ages, races, sizes, and they're all doing these very hard things, and some of them are way further along than others, but they're all doing the same things together, and they're building this community by having a shared mission. And so what I realized was I had... With these nine randos that I'd never met, I started to build deeper, richer relationships than in the home group that I've been in for a year where we just hung out and talked about our lives. And so I realized that community actually happens best when it's not the goal, when it happens as a byproduct of being on mission together. And when our mission is to know and love the Lord, it really bridges the gaps between people of all ages, races, every walk of life, and I love that that happens in D- Groups. So now D-group, we have men's D- Groups. We have women's D- Groups. We're on six continents. It's this thing that just kind of spread because it turns out that a lot of other people wanted that kind of gospel, spiritual discipline type of community as well.

Samantha: That's cool.

Christian: Wow, praise God.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Never saw that coming-

Christian: That's awesome.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: ...but I love it.

Samantha: Yeah.

Christian: Yeah, well, I loved what I saw that you had said that about the CrossFit. I just think it's funny because we all know if someone does CrossFit, there's not just casually like," I do CrossFit." It's like, no, it changes their life.

Samantha: We've never done CrossFit inaudible, just so-

Christian: And if you do CrossFit, I've... This is me. Yes, I am kind of stereotyping, but I'm like, no, if someone does CrossFit, they are fully committed. They are like... It is a lifestyle change.

Samantha: inaudible I've always wondered that, I'm like," Why are all the CrossFit people like they hang? They spend holidays with their other CrossFit people." And that's like their people.

Christian: Yeah. And so I just loved... I was like," Wow, there's something so good." And again, even like we had mentioned, we are on staff at our local church. And I think that is so good. Even what you just said there about when people are on mission together, community is just like a byproduct of that. But when we are all looking towards the goal of glorifying God and making His name known, that's just so cool, what God can do when you are ultimately on mission together, and then those horizontal relationships can even function better.

Samantha: That's cool.

Christian: I love that.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Absolutely.

Christian: That's really cool.

Samantha: Okay, switching gears just a little bit because we also love following you on Instagram. I love seeing your Israel stories. When was the last trip you got to take with COVID and everything? Have you gone recently?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah, I went three times in 2021. The last trip was I think October maybe.

Samantha: Okay.

Christian: That's awesome.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: We had to cancel our December trip right after Christmas. We were going to go. And so I get to go, I leave again in less than a month and I'm so excited.

Christian: That's awesome.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: I'm so excited.

Christian: How many people do you take each time?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Usually, we cap the trips at around 40, 45.

Christian: Okay.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: And I've done some boutique trips that are smaller. Our trips used to be smaller, but now, we have so many people who want to go, but we try to keep it to one bus.

Christian: Okay.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: And it just like keeps it-

Christian: Logistically works.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah, and it's really nice because then I get to know everybody. I get to spend time with everybody on the trip. It's really... I love it.

Samantha: That's awesome.

Christian: That's really cool. Well, count us in, for one.

Samantha: Yeah, the next one. You got to get on the list somewhere-

Christian: Yeah, for real.

Samantha: ...and all that, but something else we've seen you talk about on Instagram, you talk about a lot of different things, but you have mentioned this idea. You have like a guy best friend or a best guy friend, I don't know how you say that.

Christian: BGF, inaudible my best guy friend.

Samantha: Okay, I couldn't remember what the acronym was for sure. But will you go there with us a little bit in that of-

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah.

Samantha: I think Christian and I both grew up in Christian homes too, and just kind of... I don't know. We like to break down some barriers of Christian culture, some things that maybe were well- intended, but ended up damaging us growing up. We like to really kind of dissect some of this. And will you talk to us about the idea of having a really close friend of the opposite sex? Because we hear a lot in Christian subculture, that's a no- no. I don't know, tell us what your thoughts of that.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah. I think just like with anything in life, there are benefits and boundaries that are helpful. And so Nathan is the guy that you're talking about. Nathan, I've known each other for about half of our lives or more. And I set him up with his wife, so he's married.

Samantha: Oh, that's sweet.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah. So there's a lot of trust there because of just the nature of how our relationship. We've known each other since high school, and he's just been... We've occasionally lived in the same city, but for the most part, we've just kept up this friendship where he will suggest theology books to me, or he'll suggest podcast to me, and it's like been really formative in my knowledge of the Lord and my relationship with the Lord. He was the first person who ever told me about podcasts, and so really-

Christian: What year was that?

Samantha: I was going to ask the same thing. What year do you think that was?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: I have no idea, but I started podcasting sermons because of him.

Samantha: Oh, cool.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: And he was telling me about all these pastors that he listened to. And so our friendship was really built around a shared love of theology and a love of the Lord. And my best friend is a female, but the reason I clarify he's my best guy friend is just... I think some of it is that lingering stuff that you're talking about of it feels a little weird. But he and his wife, I adore them and there's a lot of trust there. And so I think the thing that I've learned maybe the hard way, because of growing up in that kind of environment of everything's kind of separated. I mean, I grew up pretty strict, fundamental Baptist.

Samantha: Same.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Guys and girls didn't even go to the pool at the same time.

Samantha: Oh, okay. That was a little bit more strict than mine.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah. It wasn't just like girls wear a T- shirt and shorts over your swimsuit. It's like," You're not even going at the same time as them."

Samantha: Wow. Okay.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah, so pretty strict in that regard. And I think there are helpful things that can be taken from that, and I think that there are harmful things that can be taken from that. And so the thing that I learned was that once I sort of established some internal boundaries and wisdom gleaned from scripture, gleaned from people who live life longer than me, once I had sort of those guardrails and that understanding, am I going to sit up and talk to a guy friend alone about the deepest things of my heart that I would with a woman until like 2: 00 AM? That's probably wiser to have some boundaries around that, but it doesn't mean I shouldn't be friends with guys. And I found that 50% of the body of Christ is male. And if I don't have that speaking into my life, if they don't have me speaking into their lives, if we are just siloed off, it's kind of like if you just take the youth group and you just silo them off, and they never interact with anybody who's of a different demographic than them. That siloing off, I think, does some damage. And so I found that as the body of Christ, we need each other. Like Paul, when he is traveling, we know that he's traveling with some dudes. He's also traveling with some women. He talks about them. Single Paul, traveling with women.

Samantha: That's scandalous.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah, exactly. Like," Oh, my gosh. They're doing road trips together." So just those kinds of things that are so vital to our full development as members of the body of Christ, as members of the global church, the local church, I think it's really fruitful to have those relationships. The church has so much... Women have a lot to contribute to the building up of the church, men have a lot to contribute to the building up of the church, neither gender gets a pass, and we cannot do it alone. And when we work separately, it doesn't... I want to be careful because I think there are a lot of different nuanced opinions about leadership in the church and what spaces women take up. That's not what I'm talking about, I'm talking about community in the body of Christ. And when we try to silo off our communities, I think it can be really challenging. And at the same time, I will tell you, D- Group is gender- specific. We don't have coed D- Groups because that is the space where it's intended to go deep, and so we have those guardrails up there. We do have men and women who do the same study. And so if a husband and a wife are in D- Group together, they'll go home and talk about their... They have the same homework. They're doing the same study. They're memorizing the same scriptures. And that's great, and it builds their intimacy as married couples. But because of the nature of it being as intense as it is, we find that it's best that it happens in gender- specific spaces. So as you can see, I spun the gamut on-

Christian: Yeah.

Samantha: I love that.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: ...separation, integration, and I think it's very nuanced.

Samantha: I think that was very wise.

Christian: Yeah. I loved what you said about the body of Christ because, genuinely, male and females operate different in some ways. Every brain operates different in different ways. I mean, God literally said you are then to be the body of Christ. And we have recently had a friend on our podcast talking about like the hand. You're going to be the handy one and the foot you're going to be the footy one. And there's like different skillsets and different abilities that God gives different people. And if we're only acting or treating people in the ways that, well, I'm only going to be able to use this, only men or only women, that makes no sense that we bring different things to the table as God created it to be. And I even love what you said about guardrails. I think there's like negative connotations to the word boundaries. And so even in you saying," There are guardrails there," because even if we think a guardrail... Even on a road, what is that telling us? That's telling me like," Hey, use caution. This is here for your safety. Use caution in this area." Well, in the same way, that's what that guardrails doing. It's saying," Hey, we only do D- Groups with only female groups or only male groups because you're going to go uber deep. And it's probably, for your best interest, that you don't share your deepest in struggle with another dude," that's just probably a good thing. And so it's a guardrail for your safety, for our flourishing. I love just like... Yeah, even just the switch out of that word, that makes a lot of sense.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah.

Christian: That's awesome.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: And I think it's interesting, there are people who have come to me with questions like, what are your stances on teaching men in the church and women being in those positions? And none of that is what I'm talking about here. And I think when I'm sitting at that lunch table in Israel with all of those men, of all different ages sitting around the table with me, and we're having conversation, they might learn something. It doesn't mean I'm set up as an authority teaching them because otherwise men and women... We wouldn't be able to have conversations about the Lord at all because anything that a woman would be saying would be instructing if you're giving information. I'm just giving information. I'm not like setting myself up as an authority over them. And so I think because we have been so careful in certain spaces and I think there's wisdom in being careful, but because of that, there might be a little bit of over correction. And again, that's going to vary from community to community where the nuance is, but that's just been my personal experience. I've come from a very strict background. And I've learned some ways that I was maybe lacking as a result.

Samantha: No, that makes a lot of sense.

Christian: No, that's really wise. I think you've thought through that really well and with a biblical lens, so that's awesome to hear. You recently have shared on social media just kind of a season that you walked out of, out of kind of the winter season and coming into a new year. You talked about just what you're learning right now and what God is teaching you about community, confessing sin, having people walk alongside you and messiness. Can you talk to us a little bit about that, unpack that for us?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah, so I had... This last year, I was coming out of a long season of working and being isolated by myself. I worked on The Bible Recap for 15 months. I finished at the beginning of March 2020, and I was like," Great. I get to go back out into the world again." And then 12 days later-

Samantha: That's crazy.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah. And I'm immunocompromised, I was born with four birth defects in my heart. And so I was like," Well, we're going back into the apartment until this storm blows over." So I was back in my apartment again for about another 15 months through all the COVID stuff, which is very COVID cautious. So I was by myself for 30 months, that's two and a half years. And when I came out, you know how we all have that social awkwardness that we carried with us. I had that double basically because I'd been by myself for twice as long as most people had, and I was very tentative. And I actually started going to a new church at that time as well. I was making new friends and just found myself experiencing a lot of relational struggles with just all of those changes that were happening and all of the changes that were happening in our world. And then on top of that, there was a lot of spiritual warfare. And on top of that, I was releasing a lot of books and doing a lot of podcasts, and there's all of this stuff. The weight of all of that, I just felt really fragile. I just felt really fragile. I just felt really scared in the world, scared of relationships, scared of just everything. And so a lot of the wounds that I was enduring through all of those things, through new relationships, through old relationships, through coming out of COVID, I was just really... I don't know a better word for than fragile. I would cry at the drop of a hat. I go to a therapist. And one of the things that I learned to do during that time, I called it my designated cry time, where I would just go... My church has midweek prayer, and I would go to that and I would just sit and pray and cry for an hour. And so we were like emptying the grief bucket, it was what we called it.

Samantha: Yeah.

Christian: Kind of sounds nice.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: And yeah, it was really great inaudible.

Christian: Yeah, yeah.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah, very much so because if I didn't do that... If we were having a conversation and I started crying, I might cry for an hour just in conversation with you at dinner, and I can't do that. No, you don't want me crying at the taco joint. And so I needed to mitigate my grief by this designated cry time and to watch my community come alongside me in my fragility, in my weakness, in my fear and my anxiety in all of those spaces, it was really beautiful. Most of these people were people I did not know six months earlier, and they're seeing the worst possible version of me. They're seeing this person who is so broken, who can't stop crying, who has all these fears and all these anxieties. And I was like, if they're sticking with me in this kind of... If they're seeing me like this, and they're still being friends with me, these are some good people to have around me. And I just was so, so grateful that the Lord surrounded me with people who would love me in that space with all the baggage that I was bringing with me, so.

Christian: Oh, that's awesome.

Samantha: That almost makes me emotional, just hearing you say that because we all know that feeling. Maybe it looks different and for different reasons, but when you are just at your lowest spot and then when you said that these people just... We all just think of those people that are like... No, they really see me walk through some things. And so it makes the highs in those relationships so much more valuable because you're like," I know there's just so much security in this." And of course, imperfections in relationships still happen and hard things, and maybe friends don't always respond the way we would hope for them to all the time, but it's so much more rich, I think, than just like," Oh, okay. It's easy for people to love the Tara- Leigh that is on this..." I don't know, in a higher spot, but who's going to stick around when I'm low? And I know that's... I don't know, that just seems like a basic thing, but we all can kind of relate to that experience.

Christian: Yeah. When we all experience someone loving us at our most raw, real, broken time, you're like," Okay, this is a legitimate connection and friendship." And I know you genuinely care and love and support inaudible for me. It's reassuring, and that's awesome.

Samantha: And now, you can be like," You've only known me here, here's where we can go when you-

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Right, right.

Samantha: I love that. Like," I promise there's times where we can eat tacos and not cry. I won't cry-

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Right?

Samantha: ...but it's just not right now."

Tara-Leigh Cobble: I've just recently turned a corner with that where I'm like, I'm starting to have fun. I'm starting to do fun things. And I think they're seeing sides of me that they've never seen before. And they're like," Oh, this is new. This is exciting. I don't need to bring my tissues this time."

Samantha: Yeah.

Christian: No-

Samantha: I like that.

Christian: ...that's so good. I relate to that. I mean, Samantha and I were having a conversation. We are good friends, obviously, outside of the podcast too. But we were just having a conversation even last week about... Even just me coming out of a season where I was like," Oh, yeah. I'm..." My husband said the same thing. He's like," You're acting different. This is really fun for me to see you like this." And I was like," Well, honestly, I think I wasn't myself for several months." I think there's just a lot going on. And Samantha noticed the same thing and she's like," This is really fun." And so it's fun to get-

Samantha: I think I said," I was going to give you one more week," and then have a sit- down and like," Hey, we got to figure something out."

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Right, that's true friendship when they'll call you out.

Samantha: But anyways-

Tara-Leigh Cobble: That's great.

Christian: Yes. Well, yeah. Talking about raw and real, we named our podcast Going There because we wanted to have conversations in the context of truth, in the context of the gospel and the biblical truth, but have real conversations about what people struggle with, what they want to talk about and kind of go there. So we kind of wanted to end our time asking you, do you have anything if this could be something maybe you're learning right now, maybe just kind of like a spicy take on something?

Samantha: Maybe it's your God shot.

Christian: Yeah, maybe it's your God shot inaudible for the day.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Oh, my goodness.

Christian: I don't know. What's something you can share with us kind of just like goes there?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Oh, wow. My goodness. I feel like we've gone there so much in this conversation.

Christian: I know.

Samantha: inaudible if you don't have anything earth shattering, that's fine too.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Oh, let's see what spicy takes do I have. I got in my FI with my friends on Instagram yesterday because they all left pellet ice. And I don't love pellet ice because the sound of people chewing ice... People get the pellet ice because they want to chew it. And the sound of people chewing ice is like nails on a chalkboard to me. So people are like," Do you want to go to Sonic?" And I'm like," Absolutely not."

Samantha: That's inaudible.

Christian: It's hilarious.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: A car full of ice chompers. And so I'm inaudible like, so I sent them all this meme that was about the Sonic Ice, the-

Samantha: Oh, that's too good. My husband-

Tara-Leigh Cobble: I was like," I will cut you out of my life if you bring this ice into my presence."

Samantha: That's great.

Christian: See, Tara- Leigh, I love you, but I don't know if I can agree. I love pellet ice. My husband and I, we literally were on a road trip the other day. And we were pulling into our house after getting a giant Sonic drink.

Samantha: Oh, this is funny. I know that.

Christian: And he literally turns me and the whole time we're having this great conversation, honestly, I thought it was like a really fun car ride. And I was like," This is so fun, blah, blah." We're pulling into our house, and he goes... It was an hour later. He's like," I don't know if I'm more excited to be home or more excited to stop listening to you murder that ice." He goes," You have been chomping away the last hour and it's driving me insane."

Samantha: Yeah, that's funny.

Christian: I'm like,"Oh, no."

Samantha: I found out that sometimes people that have iron deficiency, they crave chomping ice. Mom, I love you. I know you're going to be listening, watching this. But I remember there was a time she would carry her like tumbler around, dropping in her minivan, all four of us kids off, and she would just be chomping that ice. And then a year later, she got blood work done and found out she was severely deficient in iron, and so it's like maybe all of you who are obsessed with chomping ice need to have your iron levels checked.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yes, take some iron supplements and save my ears.

Samantha: Yeah, take some iron. Yeah, there you go.

Christian: So yeah, if you're friends with Tara- Leigh never buy her a nugget machine because-

Samantha: Oh, yeah. All of friends are into the-

Christian: ...we all want a nugget ice maker.

Samantha: ...nugget ice maker. I don't know if you follow any influencers, but-

Christian: We may send you on one day.

Samantha: ...they're always like," Giveaway for the nugget."

Tara-Leigh Cobble: I have friends who have those in their home. You know who you are and I... Yeah, the pellet ice, the nugget ice, the Sonic Ice, all of that, I'm just... Keep me away from it.

Christian: Oh, man.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: I'm not kidding. Do you know... Have you seen... I think they're called like whiskey stones or something, but they're pieces of planet that you can keep in your... That people will put into drinks, that's the ice I keep in my home for when my ice- chomping friends come over because I'm not giving them real ice, they're going to get rocks. inaudible so they cannot chomp it.

Samantha: That's hilarious.

Christian: That's so good. I want to now send you like a five pound bag of Sonic Ice.

Samantha: Yeah, yeah.

Christian: inaudible thank you.

Samantha: At our Sonic here, you can go and buy the ice in the bag.

Christian: Yeah. Mm-hmm, she's like,"No."

Samantha: I love that actually. And you're right, we've already covered all the deep, biblical, spicy things. So I love that that's your hot take right now, but we so appreciate this time. Again, it's kind of hilarious that Christian and I are fangirling because, again, we don't want to be putting you as a person on some pedestal, but really, really, really you have meant so much to us. For me, personally, I'm just reflecting on mornings the past three years that I've done The Bible Recap that I've just woken up early and gone down to my living room and opened my Bible for my daughter wakes up. And just the way that God has worked through you in that plan has just really radically changed my faith the last few years. And I know for Christian, it has had that same effect. And so we really are appreciative of all the work you've done. It sounds like it has been such a big part of the last few years for you. And I'm just thankful that you were obedient to what was God was calling you in that and that you lived that out. And will you also kind of tell everyone if they want to get involved in any of the D- Groups or get any of your books or join in on The Bible Recap plans, will you kind of speak to all of that where people can find you?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yes, I would love that. Okay. So if you want to study the Bible with us in weekly meetings, then I would love for you to join a D- Group. Right now, we're doing a study of the Book of Acts. And then our next study is one on redemption and restoration. And to do that, you just go to mydgroup. org/ join, or you can just go to mydgroup. org and find your way around the site and you'll figure it out. And we do have online D- Groups as well. And then for The Bible Recap, you go to thebiblerecap. com and click the start link. So it's thebiblerecap. com/ start, and it will give you... Here's the thing. We got auditory learners, we got visual learners. We got people who like to highlight and underline and take notes. We got people who don't have time to use an actual book. We got people who love all different manner of options of engaging with scripture. And so that page will help you choose your own adventure. It'll help you decide like," Do I want to start with the New Testament and do that 92- day reading plan? Or, do I want to do the whole Bible for 365 days? Do I want to listen to it? Do I want to read it?" So yeah, choose your own adventure-

Christian: That's awesome.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: ...read the Bible like this.

Samantha: And you don't have to start January 1st, right? People could start-

Tara-Leigh Cobble: No, not at all.

Samantha: ...at any time. Yeah.

Christian: Yup, that's awesome.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: My first trip through the Bible started in August. I think the best day to start reading the Bible is today.

Christian: Yes.

Samantha: Good point.

Christian: That's so good.

Samantha: Yeah.

Christian: Tara- Leigh, will you just close us in prayer for this conversation-

Tara-Leigh Cobble: I would love that.

Christian: ...that God would use it however, and then just for our listeners today, so.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yes. Father, I'm so grateful that I get to just call you Father. That, because of the finished work of Your son, Jesus, on the cross, I have been adopted into Your family. You have filled me with Your spirit. And I trust that is true for our listeners today, too, that they are women who are filled with Your spirit, who are walking in relationship with You, and they're listening to this because they love You, because they've been invited in. I believe that this podcast episode is a divine appointment for them. It's a divine appointment in scripture or gospel community, or just drawing nearer to You little by little as You invite us in through the power of Your spirit, through the truth of Your word. And so I just pray for every woman today who is listening, who maybe has a really busy life, who has her own sort of anxieties and struggles, I pray that You would enter into that space and just show up in ways that are specific to her, ways that are Sharon- specific and Linda- specific and Ramona- specific, and just like enter into those spaces and meet them where they are and reveal Your great love for them. Draw us near, reveal Yourself to us. We love You too. Amen.

Samantha: Amen.

Christian: Amen.

Samantha: Thank you so much.

Christian: Thank you much so much. This has been so, so fun, and we appreciate all of your time and just join us today in conversation. It's been a dream, so thank you.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Thanks for having me, ladies. This is great.

Samantha: Hey, thanks for going there with us.

Christian: If you loved what you heard, don't forget to follow along with us at Going There, the podcast.

Samantha: And it also means so much to us if you subscribe to our podcast and shared it with a friend.

Christian: Talk to you soon.

DESCRIPTION

Our new friend Tara-Leigh Cobble joins us today for a raw and open conversation about our relationship with God and what it looks like to pursue growing deeper with Him. Tara-Leigh is passionate about the word of God, and you all will be blown away by all of her knowledge. She is the founder of both D-Group (Discipleship Group) and her podcast, The Bible Recap, which guides you through reading the Bible in a year. 

 In this conversation, Tara-Leigh discusses why she started her podcast and how it led to a better understanding of the Bible. We hope that this conversation encourages you in the purpose God has for your life. Tune in as we open up and get honest about surviving hard times, building friendships, and strengthening our relationship with God.


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