Friday, 01 August 2014 12:50

Seth and Megan Rhodebeck Staff Attorneys for Alabama Supreme Court

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RRJ: Thank you so much for taking the time to share how your faith is at work out in the community where God has placed you.  To begin with, how long have you two been followers of Christ?


Seth: I have been following Jesus with my whole heart for 12 years.  I was raised in the church and attended Christian schools.  However, even though I knew the truths about Christianity, I would not say that I became a follower of Jesus Christ until the summer between high school graduation and starting college at Lee University in the fall of 2002; that’s when my faith became my own.


Megan: I began really pursuing God for the first time shortly after I finished my undergraduate degree.  I realized that I knew a lot of facts about Him, through the biblical foundation my parents gave me, but I didn’t really KNOW Him.  I met some amazing people after I moved to Virginia Beach to begin law school who fostered my desire to know God more.




RRJ: So you both had some participation with the Christian faith early in your lives, but how would you describe the difference between now and those early years?



Megan: I would describe my Christian faith early in my life as fact-based, passive, and lifeless. I never thought about what it really meant that I was sinner who desperately needed the grace and forgiveness freely offered by the Father through Jesus Christ.  My faith is now an active pursuit of God — to know Him and to make Him known.



Seth: It’s Religion v. Relationship.  In John 17:3, Jesus defines eternal life as knowing the Father and the Son.  Once I came into relationship with God and began to know Him, everything changed.  My desires for this world began to fade and my desire to know God grew.  I began to seek Him and realized that He had already found me.




RRJ: After finishing up law school at Regent in Virginia, was moving to the River Region your goal?


Seth: That was an interesting time and, looking back on it, really exciting.  We were in a place where we were totally dependent upon God to direct our steps.  We had applied for jobs all over the country and were willing to go anywhere, but we were met with shut door after shut door.  We were brought to the end of ourselves; neither of us had anymore leads to pursue.  It was at this time, when we had no other hope, that the Lord directed us to Montgomery.  I had interned in Montgomery with the Supreme Court of Alabama while in law school, but at the time I was looking for a job, the judge I had interned for had a full staff and no room for anyone else.  There was no reason to move to Montgomery, and it certainly was not a goal of ours (in fact, Megan said early on that she was open to moving anywhere but Alabama).


So, out of obedience, we moved to Montgomery.  About two weeks after we moved here, the judge I had interned for offered me a job; he did not even know we had moved to Montgomery!  I accepted the job. Then, seven months later Megan was hired by another judge.  It was an amazing demonstration of God’s love for us and His provision.




RRJ: In your roles as staff attorneys for Supreme Court judges is your Christian faith something that can be put on display?  If so, how?


Megan: Certainly our faith can be on display as staff attorneys for the Alabama Supreme Court.  Pertaining to work generally, each day, before we leave for work, we stop to recognize God as God and to ask His blessing upon our lives and the day’s work.  We recognize that our being alive at this point in history is solely to make Jesus Christ known to this world.  With this mindset we approach our work.  Convinced of the fact that God has planted us in Montgomery, in Capitol Heights, and in the Alabama Supreme Court, we work “as working for the Lord.”  (Colossians 3:23)


Our faith also has implications for how we approach our specific work as staff attorneys.  We recognize that God is the origin of law.  As a result, we seek God’s wisdom in each case we review for our judges.  The law is a gift of God to govern men and keep order and peace on this earth.  All of us, apart from God, will seek our own interests at the expense of others’ interests.  Because of man’s sinfulness we need the law.  It is imperative to the continued stability of this nation, composed of the states, that the rule of law be staunchly defended.  We are a nation and state governed by laws, not by men.  Therefore, we ask the Originator for discernment and wisdom as we seek to interpret and apply the laws of Alabama.


We also seek to serve those around us, whether it be by making coffee, reloading the copy machine, giving an encouraging word, praying for a coworker, coaching up an intern, etc.  God is always working; we ask God to show us where He is working and to incorporate us into that work.




RRJ: You just mentioned Capitol Heights, and I know from our earlier conversations as well, that you two have a heart for seeing the Capitol Heights area of Montgomery revitalized.  Why is that?



Megan: Just as I am confident that God called us to live in Montgomery, I am confident that God called us to live in Capitol Heights.  I was afraid to move to Capitol Heights because, not being from Montgomery, I listened to everyone who told us that it was a bad neighborhood. Once again God has abundantly exceeded my expectations. This neighborhood is great because of the amazing people who live here.



Seth: So what does “revitalization” look like?  We are certainly seeing an economic revitalization.  We have neighbors who are investing their time and money to save and restore the beautiful historic homes in this neighborhood.  We have neighbors who are operating businesses in this neighborhood and working to open new businesses.  We have neighbors who are organizing against crime in our neighborhood.  We commend all of these efforts and pray that God will bless them; they are an answer to prayer.  We are seeing the physical neighborhood come back to life.


We are also praying for a spiritual revitalization in our neighborhood; we want to see the people come to life.  We want to see our neighbors come to experience eternal life by knowing the Father and the Son.  We want to see the believers who live in our neighborhood come together to function as the Church and serve Capitol Heights.  As unbelievers and believers alike turn to God, this neighborhood will truly come alive.  I long for that.




RRJ: What are some specific ways you’re serving that area?



Megan: First, we pray.  We try and walk through our neighborhood and pray each morning.  There are also a few of us who get together weekly to lift up our neighborhood in prayer.  We ask God to show us where He is working so that we may join Him. God has been faithful to answer that prayer.  We have had the opportunity to share the Gospel with several people.  For the past two years we have been able to help weekly with a Bible study at a local middle school. We also attended all of the middle school’s football games last season to build relationships.  We have cut yards, prepared meals, given rides, and provided basic needs.  We are constantly asking the Lord to show us where He is working, and He is always working.




RRJ: How have you seen God work through these things in which He’s called you to participate?



Seth: One of the most amazing things I have seen happen is the relationships that we have been able to form with people from very different walks of life.  Capitol Heights is a very mixed neighborhood racially, spiritually, economically, and politically.  Given all of this diversity, it would be easy for everyone to withdraw to their comfort zones and build barriers along these differences.  However, by demonstrating the love of God several opportunities to build relationships have arisen.  We have experienced a wonderful sense of community in this neighborhood.



Megan: When we started meeting with other believers to pray for Capitol Heights, we were immediately overwhelmed with the problems we were facing — drugs, slum lords, children with no supervision, etc. Seth reminded us about the story in the Gospels about Jesus feeding the 5,000.  After Jesus gave thanks for the bread that the disciples collected He gave the disciples a seemingly finite amount of resources - only what they could hold in their hands - to feed the crowd.  In the same way, what we have to offer to this neighborhood, to this city, is a finite amount of resources.  But we come to God with open hands saying, “What we have to offer is finite, but we ask you to bless it and multiply it and do with it whatever you will.” It’s a mental picture that I reflect upon frequently. God doesn’t ask us to come to Him with all the answers and all the solutions.  He only asks us to be willing to serve, and we are.  God has blessed our meager efforts to bring His kingdom to this neighborhood.




RRJ: Your Christian faith is clearly something that guides your life.  Often times the Christian faith is opposed to the ways of society, so how do you two stay rooted in Christ as you live for His glory outside of the church walls?


Megan: Living in the South, I think it is easy to get caught up in the culture of religion.  The “society” we are in projects a Christian identity, but the challenge of living in Montgomery is to see past cultural Christianity and to make a deliberate, daily choice to die to yourself and to ask God what good works He has planned for you each day.  It sounds cliche, but starting your day with prayer and, more specifically, thanksgiving, is the best way to stay tuned in to the Lord throughout the day.



Seth: I spend time daily praying, reading and studying the Word, and in worship.  Megan and I spend time daily talking about the Lord and praying with one another.  I also have several brothers in Jesus Christ I meet with throughout the week to encourage me in my faith and pray for me.  I am mentored by a couple of different guys.  All of this helps keep my wandering heart focused on the task at hand and why I am on this earth at this time in history.




RRJ: What message can you share with our readers to encourage them to live out their faith full-time?



Seth: In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul indicates that the grace of God was his motivation to live out his faith and surrender all; he worked harder because of grace!  We must remember that we are daily in desperate need of grace, receive that grace from our loving Father, and allow the love of God to compel us into our daily ministry.  Do not “receive God’s grace in vain.” (2 Corinthians 6:1)



Megan: Living out your faith full time can look very different once you consider the infinite variety of ministry that God calls his children to participate in.  The common denominator is having a willingness to do whatever God has called you to do.  Even when it is out of your comfort zone and even when it seems illogical according to the wisdom of the world. Trust God with big things and with the most minuet details — He cares about it all and He wants to be a part of it all.  Plus, I can tell you from experience, it is just more fun! Stop trying to control everything and let God take over. God has me doing things that I never in a million years would have imagined. Doing a Bible study with middle schoolers is not a desire I was born with!




RRJ: Thank you both for sharing your lives with us. Your witness in the community is an inspiration!




Last modified on Monday, 18 August 2014 09:18
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