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Being Faithful in the Midst of Tension

I like to think of myself as a faithful woman of God. Which leads to the question what does it mean to be faithful? Merriam-Webster defines it as: steadfast affection or allegiance; firm in adherence or a promise; true to the facts; and/or full of faith. I can relate to a steadfast affection for God and being full of faith in God. But why are we faithful? I am faithful because God is faithful and loving to me. I have seen it over and over in my life where God has stepped in and guided me in the right direction or put the right person in my life to lift me up when I was down. His faithfulness will be your shield and a wall. You will not fear the terror of night nor the arrow that flies by day. Psalm 91:4-5 His love for us goes deep and with Easter just last month it is so apparent what He did for all of us at the cross was the greatest act of love. So, for me it is His faithfulness and love that keeps me faithful to Him.

Today I am reviewing another Annie F. Downs “That Sounds Fun” podcast and her guest is Reverend Eugene Cho. Eugene is the President-Elect of Bread for the World, a prominent non-partisan Christian advocacy organization urging both national and global decision makers to help end hunger and he is the founder and former Senior Pastor of Quest Church in Seattle, Washington. Eugene is also the founder and visionary of One Day’s Wages (ODW) – a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty.  This guy is amazing, what he has done to help end hunger and give those who don’t have a voice a say in the political arena, lifts my heart and ask myself why am I not doing more.

In the podcast Eugene talks about what Evangelism looks like today and how we as Christians should be advocates for those who cannot advocate for themselves. As Eugene says “There are many faithful followers of Christ who are good at compassion work, serving and raising money but when it comes to actually advocating, marching on streets, writing letters and calling politicians, there is a large segment that does not know that advocacy really matters.” Another point he makes is to “Be faithful in the tension of life. We normally don’t gravitate toward it. As we are faithful what does it mean to model that, showing grace, mercy, and love.” His Book “Thou Shall Not be a Jerk” talks about how our allegiance should not be to a political party. Our allegiance is only in God. He states, “It is important to be involved with politics but do not make it the end all. Everyone has a voice but not everyone is heard.” Make sure we are involved but also make sure we are listening to the people on the other side of the political party. Let’s work toward a common good in a righteous way.

In addition to Annie’s #thatsoundsfun podcast link I am including a link to a new podcast she is part of called “Annie and Eddie Keep Talking”. It is very light hearted and talks about Annie and Eddie Kaufholz’s day to day life, which in itself is very funny. Hope you take a listen and enjoy.

My uplifting end to the blog is this comic from Facebook. Thanks to Donna Johnson for reposting it! Until next time stay safe and keep the faith.

Annie F. Downs That Sounds Fun Episode; #221 with Eugene Cho

Eugene Cho’s book “Thou Shall Not be a Jerk”

Eugene Cho’s website

Annie and Eddie Keep Talking Podcast

Let’s Look on the Bright Side.

I know it sounds hokey but when things seem to be bringing me down, looking at all that I have brings me back to reality and thankful to God for all that He provides. Thankful for a nice home, food on the table, my family’s health, my husband’s job, books to read, and of course Netflix -just kidding, well at least a little bit. We all need that time to reset, sit on the couch with a warm cup of tea and maybe a salty or sweet snack.

The podcast I am reviewing this week is Jamie Ivey’s Happy Hour. Jamie is a podcaster, author, and speaker. The Happy Hour is a place where girlfriends gather to talk about the big things in life, the little things in life, and everything in between. The episode I am reviewing is #292 with Melanie Shankle. Melanie is also a Podcaster, her show is called The Big Boo Podcast, and she is a New York Times bestselling author. Her most recent book is ironically called “On the Bright Side”. She submitted the book in April of 2019 thinking it would be great for a Presidential election year. Turns out God had another plan for it! As Melanie mentions in the Podcast, “we have a loss of expectations, not knowing when the pandemic will end, but we can still look on the bright side of where we are.” In her book she talks about friendships and making time for friends, parenting, and being true to yourself. Society has become so divisive, as Melanie says “how can we have real conversations with others who have different views from us? I wonder if in the end Jesus is going to say you all missed the whole dang point; you were supposed to love each other. Not all of these small minutiae things.” This brings us to the Greatest Commandment.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39

I know people argue who really is your neighbor? It is everyone, from the grocery store cashier (which by the way thank you for putting yourself out there and helping us to stay fed), to your neighbor down the street who has loud parties. I’m not saying that we have to agree with everything they do but make sure that we don’t go in the other direction and talk badly about them. If you have an issue with your neighbor first pray about it, then bring it to them, in a loving way, and most of time they will respond kindly too. This Podcast is definitely worth the listen.

A little light hearted skit for the end of the blog. My teenage fangirl singer/songwriter Jon BonJovi is on with Jimmy Fallon. You can watch it here. It is really good but I am a little biased. Until next time, stay safe, love each other and keep looking on the bright side!

Jamie Ivey’s Podcast “The Happy Hour” interview with Melanie Shankle

Jamie Ivey’s website

Melanie Shankle’s book “On the Bright Side

Melanie Shankle’s Podcast

Time to Pause.

I know what you are thinking, that is all I seem to be doing every day since I cannot go anywhere, but let’s take a look at this from another angle. Maybe this extra time that we have at home, at least some of it, we should give to God. Read that devotional in the morning, look at the beauty of the flowers that are blooming, be grateful for the health of your family and thank God for it.

The podcast I am reviewing today is from one of my favorite authors, speaker, writers Annie F. Downs. When I listen to her podcast, I feel like I am listening to a girlfriend tell me about her day and then of course interview someone 🙂 She is really down to earth and has a love for God and people. I think of the great commandment when I think of Annie; ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39

Annie’s podcast is called That Sounds Fun and believe me she has a lot of fun and interviews really interesting people. This episode is a little more serious as it talks about putting more focus on Jesus during your day. She interviewed John Eldredge: John previous worked with Focus on the Family for 12 years and then launched Ransomed Heart Ministries, here you can find his blog, podcast, a daily reading, and my personal favorite is his Pause App! I use it every day, it allows you to get a notification once or twice a day to pause and reflect on Jesus. There is a 1, 3, 5, or a 10-minute pause option. Most times I chose the 1-minute pause but the 3 is really good too. Best part it is FREE! John is also a well-known, Jesus centered author and his most recent book is called Get Your Life Back. During this podcast Annie speaks to John about how he spends his time connecting with God and what his ah ha moment was when he realized he wasn’t spending enough time focused on God. John states “The distractions keep us away from our soul. The door opens from the inside which allows us to talk to Jesus.” He stresses how important it is to be present to the issues in your soul, to really feel it. Are we on our devices all the time and if so is that allowing us to listen and be present to Jesus? How can we be more whole hearted people open to the guidance of Jesus?

Something to make you smile this week. Comedian Julie Nolke did a three minute skit with herself, it is called Explaining the Pandemic to my Past Self. Hope it makes you laugh and until next time stay in and take that daily pause to connect with Him.

Annie F. Downs’ website

That Sounds Fun Podcast: Episode 210 John Eldredge

Ransomed Heart website

Explaining the Pandemic to my Past Self

Everything has changed. Now what?

Hello friends, I pray everyone is staying home and staying healthy. This pandemic is nothing like we have ever seen before. Even for me, who is a homebody and am home 75% of my week, this feels weird. I want to go to church and worship with my church family. I want to see my friends and give them a hug. But for now, we will have to do this virtually, through Zoom, Skype, or Facetime. How about just calling a friend or family member to check in and see how they are doing, to hear their voice, and really notice what they are feeling. It is an unprecedented time, and since we have that time to spend with our closest family members, make sure you tell them you love them, and call those you cannot be with.

I am going to be slightly repetitive and give you another podcast from Jennie Allen. I thought this episode was relevant to what is currently on many Christians minds. Jennie speaks with Andy Crouch, who is a partner for theology and culture at Praxis, an organization that works as a creative engine for redemptive entrepreneurship.

Jennie and Andy talk about how things have changed for most people, what are we anxious about and what we can do to alleviate that. Should we be strategic and if so how? How is this going to affect the church and is there an upside to it? And yes, it is ok to grieve what we have lost but also look to the future to see where we can help others and spread the Kingdom.

Jennie is also hosting IF:TV, which is basically a visual of the podcast with additional teachings by Jennie. The podcast is 30 minutes long and the IF:TV session is 50 minutes long. I will include both links below.

The second item I felt compelled to include here is something I came across this week and it made me smile and cry. John Krasinski, the guy from The Office TV show and now from Amazon’s show Jack Ryan, has started putting together a Youtube show called Some Good News or SGN. The stories are heartwarming and I think we can all use a little good news amongst all of the gloom and doom that is on our feeds 24/7. Enjoy and remember to keep thinking on the good things that we have now. As Paul writes in Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Let us see the beauty, the grace, and wonderful things God gives us each day, no matter how hard the day is, there is always something good to be grateful for. May God continue to bless you and your family.

Jennie Allen’s Made for This Podcast with Andy Crouch

Jennie Allen’s IF:TV show Made for This with Andy Crouch

John Krasinski’s Some Good News

My First Blog Post

Welcome to my new Blog-

The Godly Podcast Review

This is my first time attempting to blog, so if the format is a little off or if there is a typo please forgive me. It will get better. Now here is a little about me.

Doreen Eager, I grew up in upstate NY, moved to Charleston, SC in 2012, attended Hibben UMC for 7 years. For the last two years I worked on staff as Director of Discipleship. Part of my role was reaching out to visitors getting them plugged into groups and guiding the volunteer Greeters. Another part of my job was leading a couple of small groups and helping to coordinate the Women’s ministry. The last two roles are close to my heart. I love a good study that will bring people closer into their personal relationship with God and I love Women’s ministry. The summer of 2019 my family moved from Charleston, SC to Belmont, NC. We love the little town of Belmont and finally have found a church home. Speaking of family, I have a husband who works in IT and our son is in his junior year of College, our daughter is a junior in High School.

Why do I want to blog and why about Podcasts? I found myself doing short book reviews and quotes from Podcasts on social media. I listen to many Christian Leadership podcasts and the content provides abundant personal benefits. The blog will allow me to elaborate on those more and share that with you. I am hoping it will help others who are interested in learning more about God, what His word says about them, and how that can help with their overall outlook on life. Another benefit is I will be able to pick out specific Podcasts that speak to the stay at home Mom or the Dad trying to raise his kids alone and keep their focus on God, building their relationship with Him. There will be links to the Podcasts I review and if the author has a webpage I will link to that as well. The next paragraph is a short example of what I will be posting.

Jennie Allen is a Bible teacher, author, and founder of the IF: Gathering. Her most recent book “Get Out of Your Head” is such a good read. If you struggle with Fear, Hurt, Stress, Self-Pity, Discontent, Anger, or Shame this book is for you. Jennie breaks it down into how we start going into a spiral when we get hurt, when we fear, when we stress, etc. and how we can stop the spiral and look to specific verses in God’s word to bring us back to focus on Him! Her Podcast “Made for This” has several episodes that review the chapters of the book. The Podcast Episode: Introduction Session 3: Get out of Your Head, provides a great overview of the book and this one is only 9 minutes. Jennie says “We are tricked, duped, and we don’t even know it! The enemy comes against us and keeps us stuck in places that inhibit us from living free for Christ.” I am keeping this Podcast in my queue for encouragement when I need it!

Jennie’s Website: Jennie Allen

Podcast Made for This, Introduction Session 3:

If you like the content just hit subscribe below and you will be sent an update every two weeks when I post a new blog. Also, please like and share the blog on social media. I would love your feedback so leave a comment too. Thanks for tuning in!

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