Love Better

Every Soul Matters: a conversation with David Carrozza

January 24, 2023 Season 1 Episode 3
Love Better
Every Soul Matters: a conversation with David Carrozza
Show Notes Transcript

This week on the Love Better podcast we are talking about what it means to be made in God's image and how every soul matters.  This is a conversation with my good friend, David Carrozza, entrepreneur, Christian, and one of the directors for Sacred Selections, a non-profit that helps fund Christian adoptions.

We talk about the organization, the work of caring for the fatherless, the impact lived faith has on the world, and the fact that adoption is kingdom work.

"Remember, you are loved, so go, love better!"

New episodes drop on Tuesdays.

Every Soul Matters - David Carrozza Interview

Scott Beyer: David, thank you for taking the time to do this. I know you are a busy guy with a busy schedule. Maybe you could just start off by telling me a little bit about how Sacred Selections began and what it is and the work you're doing.

David Carrozza: So Sacred Selections is really a vision of one remarkable woman, happens to be my wife Dana.

David Carrozza: Years ago, all the way back into the early nineties, we used to own a medical lab, and one day a young woman came in. She was probably in her late. And she came in to get a copy of her pregnancy test. And I was having a conversation with this young woman, and Dana happened to just see me talking to her, and there was something about the interaction and after she left, Dana said, what was she asking you?

David Carrozza: And I said, well, she needed a copy of her pregnancy test result because she was on her way to Planned Parenthood. She's probably gonna have an abortion. and there was [00:01:00] something about that moment where Dana sees this young, professional woman bouncing out of the front door of our medical lab and knowing that sometime within the next week a life was gonna be ended.

David Carrozza: And there's limits to what we can say, in those moments. But it prompted Dana to say, I have to do something. And so it led her on a journey. She contacted a lady named Marty Caldwell who runs an adoption agency, and Marty agreed to help Dana put a brochure together that says adoption is an option.

David Carrozza: And we put those brochures in. We had 20 offices around Northern California and so that was Dana's way of whenever a young woman came. And that was her purpose for being there. It was a way to say something and do something. That connection with Marty Caldwell and Lifetime [00:02:00] adoption led to a strong friendship between Dana and Marty.

David Carrozza: And Dana ended up serving. On the board of directors for lifetime adoption. And of course that just immersed her into the world of adoption, and she learned a lot. And one of the things that Dana learned was private adoption is expensive. And young couples, it's hard for them to afford at that time, it was 25 to 30,000.

David Carrozza: Now it's nearly $40,000 for a private adoption. So over time, Dana's vision became, What if we could bring two phases of life together the child rearing phase of life and you don't have that much money and the older phases of life where you've kind of been there, done that as far as raising kids, but you have financial resources and what if we as god's people could bring those two stages of life?

David Carrozza: together and remove the financial [00:03:00] barrier for young couples to adopt. And that was the vision. So we incorporated and we were still running our medical lab, and then in 2006 we sold it and all of a sudden, out of the blue, we had some time, we had some financial resources and Dana still had this wonderful vision in her head.

David Carrozza: And so for us it became, what do we do? I mean, we were 52 and 53 at the time. That's young to retire. And Dana and I said, think about how much we've learned in the last 30 years running a business. God's blessed us. The only thing we can do is to pay it forward. And so we decided, just like we had started other businesses, let's start a business for kingdom work.

David Carrozza: And that was sort of the beginning of Sacred Selections is a nonprofit that allows, Christians. To participate in the process of caring for the fatherless through adoption.

Scott Beyer: I remember the [00:04:00] first time I heard about what Sacred Selections was, we were in the midst of our first adoption and full disclosure, sacred Selections has helped my family personally a lot five of our kids. Would not have come home without sacred selection's help.

Scott Beyer: But the first time I heard about the organization it was I just thought, oh, is that's a songbook, right? Somebody mentioned it. And but then that idea that older Christians who tend to be more financially stable could be combined. To help younger Christians who have the energy to raise kids and chase 'em around and bring those two things together.

Scott Beyer: I loved the beautiful simplicity and practical nature of that. We talk about this idea that every soul matters. That's something that I have said from the pulpit. I've heard other guys say from the pulpit, but It's one thing to say and it's another to see it practically play out.

Scott Beyer: Maybe you could speak to some ways in which you've seen that that play out in [00:05:00] sacred selections.

David Carrozza: There was an author, a guy named David Noll, who wrote a book about the characteristics of first century Christians, and one of the statements that he makes is that caring for abandoned, orphaned, or just fatherless children became an identifying characteristic of the early Christians.

David Carrozza: So much so that by this end of the first and then part of the second century, the Christians became known as a third race. That aspect of caring for children in need was so connected to them. And he made a statement in this book, he said, for a fatherless child in the first century, there were only three options in life.

David Carrozza: Death, slavery, or Christian adoption. And what happened out of. , that experience of the world. Seeing Christians go to the rivers and go to the city dumps and take these [00:06:00] children in, not for slavery, but to raise them as their own, established the value of every child's life.

David Carrozza: I do think what has emerged as an experience is seeing the effort that people go to rescue and redeem and to provide homes for these children. You can read about, what Jesus said about children in the scriptures all day long, but when you see what people sacrifice, to rescue and redeem and to give a child a home.

David Carrozza: That experience really cements the value of those lives more than you can ever appreciate by reading a scripture or reading a story. So I think it's the experience of seeing the work that goes into helping these children that creates that. [00:07:00] Experiential level of how important these children are. Some, somebody said one time, you can tell how much someone values something by what they sacrificed to get it

David Carrozza: I think the collective experience of 16 years and 418 children has really cemented that when Jesus said it is not the will of your father in heaven, that one of these little ones should be lost.

David Carrozza: He really meant that.

Scott Beyer: And when you go to Sacred Selections fundraising events, which you guys do all over the country there is something really powerful when you have, say a hundred people and then at the end of the night they've raised $50,000 it's oftentimes an auction format but the things that people are buying are not . You could tell it's nobody's getting a deal. 

David Carrozza: One of my favorite ones, just happened back in early November at the Dallas fundraising event. They sold a [00:08:00] stuffed chipmunk. That was, in a canoe. and it was a real chipmunk and somebody had taxidermied it and put it in a little canoe at the paddle, and Mark Thomas was doing the auction and he sold that thing for $3,500 And so yeah, you're right. It's inspiring to see how much fun people can have together. and be so generous for, like Dana says, it's for the babies and that's a very powerful shared experience among brothers and sisters in Christ. But also like in Sinton, Texas, this last year, bless their heart, Sinton is a small town of about 5,000 people and they had nearly 200 people in the room that night.

David Carrozza: and what we were told is that somewhere around 30 or 40% of the people in the audience were just members of the community. And so it was a collective experience of seeing all these people of faith come together to provide a home for a fatherless [00:09:00] child. That's a powerful message to the people in the world.

David Carrozza: Just like the first century Christians as they saw what these. Christians were doing to rescue these children that started to send a message to the world that these lives are important.

Scott Beyer: When you're doing something and not just talking about being Christians, but actually practically doing it, I think that's much more evangelistic. 

Scott Beyer: I know for me, Adoption has affected the way I read my Bible. Has that been the same for you?

David Carrozza: Scott, it has been the most radical transformation of nearly every aspect of my faith and how I read scripture. I can't give you one verse, I can give you 20 but for example, James 1 27, when I think of James 1 27.

David Carrozza: I said, okay, definition of pure religion. It's something that was new to first century Christians. It's something that I know isn't quote a work of the church . It's something we do as individuals, but after 16 [00:10:00] years and seeing how powerful this one work of ministry is, number one, James 1 27 reminds me of what John said, and I think it was first John two, when he says, brethren, I do not write to you a new command, but an old command which you've had from the beginning 

David Carrozza: of course in that context he's talking about loving one another. But what I mean by that is, is Isaiah, the first chapter of Isaiah, Isaiah's encouraging the nation of Israel to get your act together, clean yourself up, cease to do evil care for the fatherless, the widow and the stranger.

David Carrozza: So Isaiah, the first chapter, I think it's verse six or 16. . It's basically, that James 1 27 is an echo of Isaiah. It's not a new command. Then you look at passages in Deuteronomy, 24 14, I think, where God is giving very specific instructions about how to care for the father is [00:11:00] not just why.

David Carrozza: But systematically, how does my providence work through my people so that the fatherless, the widow, and the stranger has their needs met? So the fact that caring for fatherless children has always been an attribute of God's people is undeniable. So that's one thing you know is just.

David Carrozza: You know that caring for those in need, fatherless, widow and strangers, is something that is the way that we manifest God's goodness and his compassion to people by telling us how to reflect that goodness and glory. I think about like in connection with adoption, I think a little bit about Malachi, the second chapter when he talks.

David Carrozza: He's talking about the treachery of divorce, and he says and he, God made them one talking about man and woman. He said he made them one. And why? One, because he seeks God the offspring the home and the family is the social structure that God designed [00:12:00] and instituted so that the next generation can come to know him.

David Carrozza: And how that's connected to adoption is fatherless. Children don't have the. , they don't have the mother and the father. And so that's a first injustice that a child can be born into when they are born into a no family or a family without a father, that is the first injustice that they face in life.

David Carrozza: And the consequences of that, we know from, economics, we know from social studies the outcomes of children without fathers is pretty dire. So one of the greatest acts of mercy that we can, as God's people, is to correct that injustice by providing a home for a fatherless child.

Scott Beyer: Chad Scott A. Good, well, he's family now because our kids got married to each other. But Chad likes to say that the moment for him with one of [00:13:00] his daughters who came home through adoption was he was standing holding her as a baby. He was at a camp and all these Christians were singing.

Scott Beyer: and it hit him. She would never have this experience if it wasn't for adoption. It's, it is this process of saying we're all made in God's image and we all are supposed to be raised in families. And sin has broken that in so many ways. We live in this dark world. And when Christians can one at a time try to unravel that a little.

Scott Beyer: I think it's a beautiful thing of God restoring back to the original design.

David Carrozza: In some segments of our society, 74% of children are born into a fatherless home. So the other thing is that, our faith, our way of life is clearly under attack.

David Carrozza: We're being maligned, we're being misrepresented, we are being devalued. And Peter said [00:14:00] to an audience who was facing persecution he says, for this is the will of God, that by doing, good will put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. 

David Carrozza: We had one case where there were a couple of high powered attorneys that we were working with. We were involved in a case that was on its way to the Arizona Supreme Court. 

David Carrozza: And when everything was said and done, one of the attorneys called us and the first thing he said, Who are you people? He said, we have never seen an organization or individuals that are connected to an organization who are willing to fight so hard and to commit the resources necessary to protect a family and a child.

David Carrozza: And so I don't expect that these attorneys gonna end. At church somewhere, some Sunday. That would be wonderful if they do, [00:15:00] but I'll tell you, we really had an opportunity to glorify God and to communicate what our father tells us to do with respect to helping fatherless children, and that made a lasting impression on them.

David Carrozza: There are many other cases I could give you where on court. Sacred Selections and Christians who are committed to helping children through the process that's happened in the last 16 years is on court record. So it is bearing witness to the nature of God's people in this type of kingdom work.

Scott Beyer: Is it fair to say that what you're trying to say is that when Christians are doing the works that God intends they may be able to argue with us over doctrine, but it's hard to argue,

Scott Beyer: uh, over, over biblical works because it does work.

David Carrozza: exactly. And you [00:16:00] think about that was Jesus' defense when he was doing good work and performing miracles and he was being attacked, he said, what work? What evil are you accusing me of?

David Carrozza: He was blameless with respect to the good work that he had done. He wasn't harming anyone, he was healing, he was caring, he was providing for the needs, and he said which one of these things are you accusing you about?

Scott Beyer: When think I've heard you use this phrase a couple of times before that the church has left the building is some the aspect of what Sacred Selections does because, I guess it's worth noting. Sacred Selections is a private organization. It's not funded by any congregational work.

Scott Beyer: It's entirely individually run but it does have some very deeply biblical roots to its mission. What are some of the challenges that you found with that?

David Carrozza: Well, initially, like in the first few years of doing this, of course, in the conservative [00:17:00] churches of Christ we have to acknowledge there's some baggage that we carry with respect to the conversation about caring for the orphan and, unfortunately, that comes out of some of the battles that were fought in the forties, fifties, and sixties about the whole issue of institutionalism.

David Carrozza: So we. Quite a bit of time in productive and in healthy probing conversations that we were being probed and questioned about how do you do this? Because we have taken, which I completely agree with, that there is no authority for doing certain things out of a common collected treasury.

David Carrozza: What Paul wrote to the churches in Ephesus? And in the very context of being saved by faith, not by works, he says, as a matter of fact, folks your God's workmanship. You were created, in Christ Jesus to do these good works and we're expected to [00:18:00] walk in them.

David Carrozza: Our salvation is not just about redemption, and when we die, we go to heaven. Part of our salvation is to be restored, to be the kind of people and to do the kind of good work that God had in mind all the way back in the garden. So couple chapters later, Paul comes back to this idea of work and he says, oh, by the way, Christ gave gifts to the church.

David Carrozza: Apostles prophets abandoned the teachers and pastors. And what was the purpose of those gifts to the church to equip the saints for works of ministry. Now, you and I have had this conversation before, but the point is the question that follows is what are these works that we're supposed to be equipped for?

David Carrozza: And my contention would be that it has to include a work that is part of the definition of pure religion. So when you boil all that down, the question becomes how do [00:19:00] the gifts that remain teachers, preachers, elders, how do we equip local saints that those gifts serve to care for fatherless children?

David Carrozza: That's a long way around answering the question that what I have come to see is, caring for the fatherless is kingdom work. It's a part of spiritual warfare. It's a part of evangelism. Monday night, we, within the space of 30 minutes, we had two pieces of really good news. Number one, we had, we saw that the 418th child had been adopted and the 60th child who had been adopted was born again. So it's a clear demonstration of Malachi two 15, that adoption is a way to evangelize and disciple other people. They come into your [00:20:00] home at young ages, but I can't think of any type of human relationship where you have a greater potential to do good and influence a. Then bringing a son or a daughter into your home and making them your own.

David Carrozza: So I, what I've seen was, is that what we all do individually whether it's adopting funding, helping families, what we all do individually becomes what we are known for collectively. And I think that is probably one of the most powerful things that has emerged over the last 16 years.

David Carrozza: We have found a way to care for the fatherless that follows the biblical pattern and how that work gets done. And my goodness, it works.

Scott Beyer: You do things the Bible way and that system's a good system, right?

David Carrozza: Yep. Yep. Exactly. Exactly.

Scott Beyer: yeah. I think there is a danger, right? That for fear of doing things the wrong way, we do nothing at all. [00:21:00] And what I love about Sacred Selections is the idea of saying, okay, well we understand. Pure and unfiled religion is carried for the widows and orphans in their distress is an individual mandate. And so we're gonna do that. And we're not gonna say it, since we can't do it out of the church treasury, we're not gonna do it at all. Instead, we're gonna take God's system as a biblical model and run with it.

Scott Beyer: And it has worked. of the things that comes up often when I'm having conversations with people about adoption is the cost. 

Scott Beyer: You had talked and touched on that a little bit. It's expensive. Adoption is expensive. And that is an emotional barrier for people sometimes.

Scott Beyer: Why is adoption so expensive and. Where's all that money going? How do you answer a Christian when we're talking about adoption and evangelism and caring for widows and orphans and all of these mandates? How do you answer that question [00:22:00] in regards to the cost? 

David Carrozza: It is a question, that people ask frequently and I, the good news is I think people's perspective of that is changing a little bit, especially people that have been connected to the work. But it is a good question. One of the ways that we answer that question is just sort of the pragmatic, give me a, line item list of where does $40,000 go, and how is that justified in terms of why does it cost $40,000?

David Carrozza: first of All as believers, we are pro-life. and when we try to find a way to be involved and to manifest what does it mean to be pro-life? It's not just holding a sign up that says, if you abort your child, you're going to hell.

David Carrozza: You need to realize that a young woman in the world who is faced with the dilemma of an unwanted or an unplanned pregnancy, or a pregnancy that she realizes I cannot care for this child. I know that [00:23:00] because I'm addicted to drugs or I am in a circumstance that the state is going to come in and take this child if I deliver it.

David Carrozza: Those are dark places. That's one of the things that we say all adoptions start in a dark. . And so what you, what that means is that if you're going to provide an alternative for a woman to choose life, then you can't just give her a piece of information that is condemning and making her feel guilty about a choice she's considering.

David Carrozza: How can you be involved in her life to make that good choice, something that she can live with and manage, how can you become an advocate for her? So I say all that to say that in most adoptions, 40 to 50% of that 40,000 goes to care for the mother who has chosen life. That means you're giving her a place to live.

David Carrozza: You're giving her access to reliable transportation. She needs to have a [00:24:00] phone so she can stay in touch with. The people involved in her adoption. She needs transportation to get to prenatal visits. So there, each state has two kind of two lists. One is what expenses are co allowed to be covered, and then there's a monetary value that kind of caps on how much you can provide for a mother.

David Carrozza: And it, obviously, those are meant to control the process, so you're not buying and selling babies. It's a highly regulated process. So that's one thing to keep in mind is that when you're saying yes to life, it means you have to come alongside the person who is giving that life. The second part of that is it is a legal process, so you're gonna have attorneys involved there.

David Carrozza: There's the interstate compact, if the families in one state and the baby's in another state and the mother, the two states have to talk together to make sure it's legal and proper that costs. Once a birth mother chooses an agency, [00:25:00] they take care of this woman.

David Carrozza: That means counseling, social workers. It in some cases, you just become immersed in this person's life for the rest of their term, of their pregnancy. So all those things add up to, a. in today's market, for lack of a better term, somewhere between 35 and $40,000. So that's where the money goes.

David Carrozza: Now, my philosophical approach to that question is you can't buy a new car for under 30,000, 30 or $35,000, and everybody knows that in a year or two years. That car has lost 40% of its value. In five years, it is probably worth less than half of what you paid for it. But you take that same $35,000 investment into the life of a child in your home, grandparents, aunts, [00:26:00] uncles, people in a congregation, the value of that child becomes imme.

David Carrozza: it becomes immeasurable the day after that child becomes yours. And as time goes by immeasurable grows exponentially.

Scott Beyer: Yeah.

David Carrozza: you need, you just have to have those frames of reference. Somebody said, the problem with our society is that we know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. The other thing that I ask people to. Is when Jesus was being tested, is it lawful for us as the chosen nation of God to pay taxes to Caesar? You know what he said? It was brilliant. He says, show me the image on the coin. Well, it's got Caesar's face on that. He says, okay, you give Caesar whose image, his image is on that coin. It belongs to him, but he [00:27:00] says, you give to God.

David Carrozza: the image that's ingrained in you. So the reason I say that is if Caesar in the 21st century says in order to do a legal adoption it costs $40,000, then I think Jesus would look at us and say, give Caesar his 40 grand because I want the child

David Carrozza: and so we have to remember that you. The other thing, the other thing that we have seen is once people, even people who have squirmed and wrestled with 40 grand, once they see that child in their home or in their extended family or in their congregation, nobody remembers the 40.

Scott Beyer: right?

David Carrozza: Nobody. Nobody said, ah, we should have got that kid [00:28:00] for 20 

Scott Beyer: It's what you're saying is it's the practical application of every soul's made in God's image and has value. Will that value's worth more than $40,000? It's what did Jesus pay for a soul a lot more than 

David Carrozza: Yeah. He gave his life

Scott Beyer: Yeah. Yeah. And really in that sense, we're getting a deal.

Scott Beyer: I, I love how you put it when you, when a child's set in a family, we all know that feeling when a child comes home you can't imagine your life without them.

David Carrozza: Yeah.

Scott Beyer: That price tag. Is immediately just a past memory of the process. 

David Carrozza: If you think about it, Scott, as business people in the world, We know how to get stuff done. . That's one of the big headliners of the American way of life and the value of capitalism is that you free people to get stuff done to, to [00:29:00] better themselves economically and socially and so forth.

David Carrozza: Dan and I, coming out of a business background, one of the things that we were convicted of, , when we were running our medical labs, we worked our tails off. We faced tremendous challenges, but we never quit. And so one of the things that I think we have seen over the last 16 years is why should doing God's work be any less committed or intentional or creative?

David Carrozza: then what we do and how we apply ourselves to doing our own work and I think that's one of the most powerful things that we've seen is let's take God's work seriously. . I mean, even Jesus at the age of 12 said to his mom, don't you know I must be about my father's business? I think we need to be as serious about God's [00:30:00] business that we are about our own personal business or our secular businesses.

Scott Beyer: It is the parable of the unjust steward, right? When it came time he knew he was gonna get fired. He knew to hustle and how to take care of his livelihood. And we see and do that sort of thing all the time. We can get very creative and very zealous to protect ourselves and our own physical blessings here on earth.

Scott Beyer: If we would apply. That same level of fervor to God's work then we're all sudden becoming what he wants.

David Carrozza: Another thing that struck Dana and I personally when we sold the business and we were blessed was the parable of talents. And I've always, understood that parable to mean, yeah. There's five talented people, two talent people, one talent people figure out where you're at on your talents and then use 'em, right?

David Carrozza: But whether you're a five or a one talent guy, the master saw you. I've seen what you can [00:31:00] do when you're doing something for yourself. And because of what I've seen, not only your abilities, but your intentionality, your commitment. I'm going to invest in you, and this time I expect you to apply the same talent, the same diligence to give me a.

David Carrozza: And that's the part that struck me and I think that applies to everybody, but in terms of our model of child rearing stages of life and older stages of life is when you're 50 or older and you have been blessed and you have worked hard and you have gained experiences and skill sets.

David Carrozza: God knows how hard you worked. , God knows what skills you have. He knows not just that you're a five A two or a one talent person, but he also knows how hard you've worked for yourself. And when you're in a position where you have more free time or more free resources, [00:32:00] he's gonna be sticking his finger in your chest or tapping you on the shoulder and say, what are you gonna do for me?

David Carrozza: That's the concept that I think needs to prick more of our consciences is, retirement is not always about taking cruises.

Scott Beyer: David, what have I missed?

David Carrozza: I don't think you've missed anything about the past, but where we're at now is looking to the future and next year is going to be a major transitional year for us. I mean, we are putting a lot of plans. We're spending a lot of time, to make preparation so that the work that was in Dana's head 16 years ago can go on into the future.

David Carrozza: The good news is everybody we talk to is in agreement. This can't, this work can't quit. And for my frame of reference, I keep coming back to the gifts that God gave to the church to equip saints for works of ministry. [00:33:00] So what that means is the foundation itself is a financial institu. And we are a trusted conveyor of other people's money for this particular mission.

David Carrozza: It's individual Christ. Trusting the foundation to use their money in the way that we say we're using it, but the equipping of the saints is local. That's the responsibility of local preachers and elders, how do those men equip their saints and encourage them to be part somehow of caring for fatherless children.

David Carrozza: So I say that just as a reminder of what we talked about earlier, because here's what we're asking preachers and elders to do. We call it the Olay Plan One lesson a. on caring for the fatherless through the process of adoption. We think that's a simple ask [00:34:00] to help equip the saints that you serve, is to talk about how can we, as a local body of Christ, how can we personally be involved in helping a fatherless child?

David Carrozza: And to support that we hope to launch in early January we are gonna be launching a revision to our. And on that website we will have a specific page called the One Lesson a Year page. It'll explain what the idea is, but it will also allow preachers to send us their one lesson a year, and we're gonna have those links as a resource so people can go to that page and they can listen to these lessons.

David Carrozza: If a guy needs some fresh ideas, then there will be a place for him to go to get some new ways of approaching the same topic. But we really think that for sustainability, again, God's plan works, [00:35:00] is we are a trusted conveyor of people's money for the mission of caring for the fatherless, the equip.

David Carrozza: is done at local congregations and if members of the church assimilate that and understand that and commit themselves to it, I have no doubt that we can continue to do what has been done in the last 16 years when Dana and I are long. We don't want the mission to become about sacred selections.

David Carrozza: The mission is caring for the fatherless.

Scott Beyer: Yeah. One last question and then I'll let you go. We've talked about adoption, we've talked about souls, we've talked about how much this work matters to God. The word that we haven't really used, but I think is infused throughout it, is the word love, God is love.

Scott Beyer: He loves children. He loves families. He loves seeing his people do that kind of work. How can we love better?

David Carrozza: John says there's a big difference between saying I love [00:36:00] somebody and then actually attending to their real physical needs. He just says, how can you say you love someone and when you have an opportunity and you see the need and you do nothing.

David Carrozza: That is by definition, that is not love. It's a word, but it's not love. The other thing that I think that we need to understand, , how much love emerges between people when you are working together to do God's work? I can tell you, Scott, you think about our relationship. I've, what, how many times have I worshiped with you?

David Carrozza: Once or twice,

Scott Beyer: I, yeah, probably only just a couple of

David Carrozza: but I'll tell you , I love you and Jenna. because of the work we do together, we are so bound together.

David Carrozza: I don't normally have those [00:37:00] experiences just sitting in a pew with somebody and trying to sing on key. I learn to love people when I work with them, and that means when we have really good times and when we have really hard times. , the Fellowship of the Saints that I feel for people that I rarely worship with, but I feel like they are the called out that I belong to because we're doing kingdom work together.

David Carrozza: So love emerges when individuals collectively commit themselves to doing god's. and when you share that fellowship with somebody, it's so much deeper and you will sacrifice so much more and you will put aside so many more trivial, petty things for the sake of the work than when [00:38:00] your fellowship just depends on something that happens inside of a building two or three times a week.

David Carrozza: Love is not just an emotion. If I waited to do something until I felt like it for people I can tell you it. People have different capacities for the emotion of good warm feelings and love between people. But my personal experiences have been that I learned to love people transcendently.

David Carrozza: because I'm committed and I see that they're committed to doing the same things that are good work. Those are the people that I can tell you I really love those people. I may have some feeling towards somebody because, they're nice and we get along, but the kind of agape committed, unconditional commitment to working with these people.

David Carrozza: Comes from what we do together, even though we rarely socialize or even just sit in a pew together. [00:39:00] So the, I think that the kind of love that identifies God's people is an emergent process. It's not necessarily an original one. It comes out of a sense of Paul talks about himself being a man under.

David Carrozza: Paul was motivated by his love and gratitude for God saving him in spite of everything that he had done. And that prompted him to do a lot of things, self-sacrificing things for other people. But he never would've met people in Philippi or Thessalonica or Corinth or Berea or Antioch because of his commitment to serving and to doing kingdom.

David Carrozza: Paul loved thousands of people. 

Scott Beyer: Well said. For what it. Yes, Jen, and I love you, and feel exactly the same way. And I love that idea of it being an emergent thing. It blossoms in the ground of shared work. [00:40:00] Thank you so much for taking the time and we will be praying for sacred selections in the journey ahead this year as it moves as an organization to a new and exciting phase.

Scott Beyer: Just love the work that you and Dana and so many others are doing. It's just at the heart of what we oughta be.

David Carrozza: Dana, as we wrapped up this year, finished our last event, Dana and I, we got home and we just reflecting on the year and we just said, it's so much work and it's so much blessing and they go hand in hand, 

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