Christian, Faith, Jesus, Podcast

Will You Speak Up?

We are called to speak up for those who cannot but many times we do not. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9

I know I have mentioned this in a previous post but for those who have not read it, there have been two times in my life when I knew I should have spoken up and did not. Why is that? I know for myself I am a people pleaser and am working on shifting that to a reformed people pleaser. For we are not called to please man but to please God.

So, I lean toward people pleasing and not rocking the boat but at times that will traverse into not standing up for someone of another race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religious beliefs, etc. This is ascribing to the racist narratives that have plagued our country for centuries. When I think about this, I know I have to do better than my ancestors and that will require me to break outside of my comfort zone and not be a people pleaser but a God pleaser.

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.  For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2

The podcast I am reviewing this week is called “10 Things To Tell You” by Laura Tremaine and her guest is Jenna Arnold. The name of this recording is “How White Women Can Stop Avoiding Hard Conversations”. Jenna Arnold is an educator, entrepreneur, activist and mother who lives in New York City, currently the Chief Impact Officer for an impact investing platform, Rethink, funding companies working to solve some of the world’s most complex problems: equitable education, food distribution, climate sustainability, community growth and empowering women and minority populations. Plus, she has a new book out called “Raising Our Hands”. Wow, that is a lot!

They start out the conversation with Jenna stating how other people describe her as a disrupter and she thinks that has a negative connotation to it. She likes to think of herself as a pot stirrer. “I’m most enthusiastic about posing challenging questions to myself and other people and practices and sometimes those answers can be disruptive. I’m ok with getting to an answer we are not proud of and that being the fuel to propel us.”

“I hope we serve as a conduit, not an educator, but a conduit, to those who can speak greater truth to the questions we are trying to ask.” Jenna Arnold

The hypothesis of the book, in her words, is “If I can help white women ask harder questions of themselves it will get them closer to clarity. A decade ago, I didn’t think I saw color and it was because of a close friend of mine who said ‘you don’t see what you don’t see and that is problematic.'” Which lead Jenna to say, “there is an opportunity for certain folks to get in a different place in line as it applies to the solutions and sometimes it helps to have someone else who has had that lived experience to say hey here it is over here.”

Laura points out that Jenna is still learning but perhaps a few steps ahead of many of us who are just starting out on the racial, social economic, religious healing journey. “White women don’t know what to ask or where to start and you give them the basics, the 101 course, about race, inequity, and the white washing of history.”

Jenna points out that “I found it hard when I entered into this work to jump into the AP class on this subject without going back to my ancestors and asking why didn’t they do anything?” She then performed a listening class of different circles of white women. Asking questions like “What are you willing to fight for other than your children? What is your biggest regret?” She asked these questions of women with similar life experiences as her to figure out what was getting in the way of them caring about these issues.

Laura brings up the fact that Jenna in her book references “The privileged side of silence. I see this in my feeds, in general people are trying to keep harmony in their families and extended families and in their community. There are lots of reasons that we stay silent, mostly because it’s easier. I don’t want to deal with the backlash of this, I don’t want to have a hard conversation with a family member.”

How do we start those conversations then? Jenna states not to try and throw around facts, they can be stubborn and used in various ways. “Start with your feelings not facts. You can say I am really really scared about what is happening in our country and I don’t know if I can articulate it properly. I don’t know who to believe and I am not sure if our systems are accommodating people the way they should. I am scared, how are you feeling?” This makes a lot of sense by relating to a situation with how you feel makes it more personal and human. Facts seems cold and controversial.

Toward the end of the interview Jenna made an enlightening statement, “We can’t try to figure out how to exactly and perfectly move in every moment. Us as people are trying to figure out if we have the capacity and the will to wrangle our ego’s enough to make sure our species survives. You are going to mess up and when that happens the job isn’t to say I’m not qualified I’m out. It is to say I’m sorry, what else. These are words people should constantly be saying. Get out of your own way and join this front line. We don’t have the luxury of time anymore.”

There really isn’t much else I can add to this podcast, other than I challenge you to speak up the next time you hear an injustice. It is as much a challenge to you as it is for me.

Praying you have a wonderful start to fall. The uplifting piece of the blog is from the Good Newsletter:

An Iowa restaurant owner, Willie Fairley of Willie Ray’s Q Shack, is giving out 400 free BBQ meals every day to storm victims. He is firing up his grill to supply hundreds of free meals for his community after thousands fell victim to a line of devastating storms. A powerful derecho tore through the Midwest, damaging homes and leaving millions without power throughout Iowa and Illinois. Full article here. Kudos to Willie for being the hands and feet of God.

“10 Things To Tell You” by Laura Tremaine “How White Women Can Stop Avoiding Hard Conversations”.

Jenna Arnold’s book “Raising Our Hands”

Follow Jenna on Instagram

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Christian, Faith, Jesus, Podcast

Tension, Rest, Disappointment, and Joy. Recap of IF:LEAD

IF:LEAD 2020 image

This post is unlike previous weeks, I am not reflecting on a podcast but am reviewing/recapturing parts of the IF:LEAD virtual conference I attended on August 15th. IF:Gathering was started by Jennie Allen and its mission is IF:Gathering exists to equip women with gospel-centered resources, events, and community so that they may learn about who God is and disciple other women right where they are.

During the IF:LEAD conference there were many well-known, knowledgeable, Christian leaders who spoke and I will not be able to include every speaker here but I will spotlight 4 that I thought were very relevant and educational. The theme for the conference was how are you disciplining yourself in these times of tension and disappointment. Are you leaning into what comforts you, like watching Netflix, sleeping in late, snacking all the time, or are you ministering to your spirit, spending time with God, going for a walk or exercising, and reading? We are called to bear good fruit but it is difficult to do that when we are continually giving into our fleshly desires. (Jennie Allen) I know I have done it myself, and have to recalibrate, get back on track, to focus on the one who holds us in His right hand and says follow me. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16.

Dr. Anita Phillips spoke and she began by stating this is a season of trauma and we are responding to it physically. We have to listen to our bodies, our nervous systems are activated and it causes fatigue, racing heart, and anxiety. Leaders feel like they cannot feel this way but it is ok to acknowledge these feelings. It doesn’t mean Jesus is not with us. We have to show ourselves some humility. Be willing to be in the presents of pain. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15 Some advice Dr. Phillips gave to alleviate the symptoms are: slow down, meditate on the word, take a walk, wrap yourself in a cozy blanket and read, pray, and sleep well. Good advice that I am taking and putting into practice!

Beth Moore’s speech was on how to embrace tension with grace and obedience. She began by referencing the story of Jacob and his brother Esau in Genesis 32. Jacob had to wrestle with God and had his hip put out of its socket. While he was wrestling with God all night Jacob was close to God. Beth emphasizes to stay close to God and love on purpose. Obedience comes from love and from a pure heart. Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. 1 Corinthians 14:1 She ended her talk with we all have to wrestle with God at some point in our lives. Jacob limped from his wrestling. During these times of tension make sure you are leaning on God!

Angie Smith’s talk was on being joyful. She began by stating we are commanded to be joyful and the way we define joy is many times incorrect. These were her three points: (1) Find joy: Joy was given to you by the Holy Spirit and we never lose it. It is not our job to find it. We do need to recognize and acknowledge it. (2) Joy is not synonymous with feelings. It can make us feel happy but it doesn’t have to be. It is a settled peace from God. (3) It is not something we need to fake. We do not need to show it all the time. You can experience it and acknowledge it during the hard times. Many times, we feel like we are owed joy. God does not want our joy to end with each experience we have. Our lives are a gift we praise, we thank, and return it back to Him. The greatest gift of joy is returning it back to Him! It is more important to spend time being thankful for our lives instead of looking inward at ourselves.

Ann Voskamp’s conversation was reminding us that you are NOT alone. You cannot lead without God. When Ann feels anxious, she pictures herself as a helpless lamb in the arms of Jesus. As the disciple John stated: You are the disciple whom Jesus loves! Choose to be wooed by God and you do this with daily gratitude’s, write them down. Grow in the hard times by abiding in God. The difference between being a Jesus follower and a Jesus abider is as a follower you are still relying on your own strength and doing it your own way. Abiding in Jesus is knowing He is our only strength. By following you can go wayward, abiding is obeying and going with God. Abiding gives the grace to obey. Let us do everything in His ways and His will. Be wooed by God and know you are cherished and chosen by Him.

This conference was rich with information, many other leaders spoke and gave great inspiration on how to lead during these trying times. The other speakers were Jennie Allen, Chrystal Evan Hurst, Kirk and Tammy Franklin, Katherine Wolf, Shelly Giglio, Cheryl Luke, Jada Edwards, Christine Caine, John Mark Comer, Eugene Cho, and many others that did their own breakout sessions.

You can still purchase a digital copy of IF:LEAD 2020 for $30. I will include the link below. I will also link to one of Jennie’s podcast below that has a few snippets from the conference.

Personally, I took a lot away from this conference and I am looking forward to watching all of the breakout sessions. In the spring they will do another IF conference called IF:Gathering. It is intended for you to gather with your friends and watch and discuss each session together, to disciple each other. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

We are all leaders, if you are a CEO or assistant, if you are a teacher or day care provider, a stay at home Mom or Dad, we are ALL leaders. As leaders we must continually look to our great leader, provider, sustainer, comforter, healer-Jesus, for support, guidance, love and grace. These IF conferences help lift our eyes back up to Him and give us the means to assist others to do the same. I hope you will find this helpful in leading during these uncertain and stressful days.

The lighthearted piece to the blog is this comic from Facebook:

IF:LEAD 2020 digital purchase

Jennie Allen’s “Made for This” Podcast: Practical Help for Life in a Pandemic.

Christian, Faith, Jesus, Podcast

Where Do You Find Hope?

Picture by Gerd Altman

For many years I found hope in myself and I know that sounds arrogant and self-centered coming from a Christian but let me explain where I was and where I am now. I grew up Roman Catholic, going to church a few times a year. I attended catechism classes in Junior and Senior high school and understood who God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit was and I believed that Jesus was my savior I would go to heaven.

What I didn’t know, or maybe it is better said, what I wasn’t taught, is that the most important part of learning to be a Christian is establishing a relationship with God. Without that relationship I never felt compelled to obey God or listen to what He was saying to me. How can you have hope in something you have never experienced, something you haven’t spent time on, someone you have never spoken or listened to. You cannot, just as in any relationship in life you must spend time getting to know the person, the only way you get to know someone intimately is by talking to them and listening. The same can be said for our relationship with God. God has made it easier for us to get to know Him, he gave us His word in scripture.

I was in my late 30s when I started to realize there was a hole in my soul, something was missing, everything looked good on the outside but inside I was unsettled and had no purpose. I didn’t know why I felt that way until I started to read Joyce Meyer devotionals and books*. They guided me toward spending time with God, listening, falling in love with Him, and then watching what He was doing in my life. Which then lead to resting all of my hope in the God who is able to do abundantly more than I can ever ask or imagine. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 3:20-21

This week the podcast that I am reviewing is from Jennie Allen’s “Made for This” podcast called “How to Hope for What You Can’t See” and her guest is Matt Chandler. Matt is the lead pastor at the Village Church, in Flower Mound, Texas, and the President of the Acts 29 Network.

Jennie begins by asking Matt how he came to his faith in Jesus and in his words “I came to it late in life, well later than many Christians, at the age of 18. A friend invited me to church and youth group. The nearness and friendship of Jesus I had then has not changed. Jesus took all of the desires I had and shifted them from where they were and pointed them with laser like focus on Him.”

Jennie goes on to ask Matt how do you see heaven? Matt responds by saying “The Bible describes it as a place of ever-increasing joy. What your heart longs for will be satisfied there. Many of us cannot understand this, God is an inexhaustible well of joy and grace.” I liked this quote “We are caught on this treadmill of hope deferred here. In heaven hope is fulfilled and we are not looking forward. Everything we hoped for is fulfilled and is ever increasing.” Jennie states “It is important to understand this, deferred hope that it is coming changes how you live life now.”

Matt points out that he went through a time of unbelief but he kept praying, “I believe Lord, help my unbelief.” Jennie states “It is ok to wrestle with your faith, doubt is ok, but don’t allow it to take over, it steals, kills, and destroys. Matt’s response was “Be rooted in a community and the word of God. Being honest when you doubt. There are no secrets from God and when you say it out loud it takes away its strength.”

They talk about how to speak to kids about heaven and how to hope in God. Matt wrapped it up by saying many people think they have a picture-perfect life but it’s not working. The reason for that is you have been created for a relationship with Jesus. Those gifts and abilities were given to you by God for God. Life lived outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ is always going to be less satisfying than it was meant to be. Continuing to cultivate the relationship/friendship with Jesus is the most important priority in your life.”

I agree with Matt that life lived outside of a relationship with Jesus is less fulfilling. I have tried it and my life is so much richer with Him. I see everything God has made with in full color with a thankful heart, and I have hope for good days ahead, even during COVID. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 I pray that if you haven’t already you will put your hope in Jesus and start spending some time chatting with Him. He is longing for it and so are you.

*I mention here that I read Joyce Meyer devotionals and books but there are many excellent Christian writers that you can read to learn more about building your relationship with Jesus. Feel free to message me if you are looking for resources, I have read many.

Funny spot on the blog “Dancing Priest Does Hamilton”. It is hilarious, enjoy!

Jennie Allen’s Made for This Podcast with Matt Chandler.

Village Church Matt Chandler

Christian, Faith, Jesus, Podcast

What Are You Reflecting On?

Image by Rita E.

How often do we actually reflect on life? We do it unconsciously ever day when we say we like a song or a TV show, but what about reflecting on your life and what has occured let’s say over the past 30 days? Lately I have been looking at what has changed over the past 4-5 months, what we haven’t been able to do but also what the pandemic has made possible. For example, it has allowed me to reconnect with my friends from Charleston via Zoom and I am eternally grateful for that. On the other hand, since we are new to Charlotte I cannot go out and make new friends. It has allowed me to have the time to start this blog which I truly enjoy. How often do we reflect on our lives to see what was good and what was not? For me it’s probably once a year in January, unless I get a tug from God to look at something specific. Jesus reflected with God many times in the bible, he went to the Mount of Olives to pray, to make sure he was doing God’s will. (Luke 22:39-46) Being in relationship with a loving God allows us to reflect with him and receive loving correction when needed.

The podcast I am reviewing this week is called “The Next Right Thing” by Emily P. Freeman, it is episode #133 and it is called “Learn the Art of Asking Questions.” Emily is a bestselling author, podcast host, and a curious listener. Her podcast is about making decisions, but also, it’s about making a life. She does not interview guests but poses thought provoking questions and the podcasts are short and sweet about 10-15 minutes long. Emily has a very soothing voice that I enjoy listening to. This session on Learn the Art of Asking Questions made me look and reflect on the past 30 days in a different way. She presents five questions you can ask yourself to reflect on the previous month. One was “In the past 30 days what was your most life giving yes?” and another was “Name something you are reconsidering from the last 30 days. As a result of the last 30 days, maybe you’ve reconsidered a long-held belief, a biased worldview, an unhealthy relationship, or the way you’ve allowed grief, anger, or fear to build up in your body. You may not have answers or resolutions, but reconsideration done in the presence of God is an important part of our becoming.” I answered all five questions but the last one was one that I actually had to dig deep on. I noticed much more anxiety in my day to day life lately, so my answer to that question was to realize when I am becoming anxious and use reasoning to figure out why I am so anxious. If I need to take action then take action, if not release it to God. Adam Hamilton in his book Unafraid says you can use the word FEAR as an acronym, Face your fears with faith, Examine your assumption with facts, Attack your anxieties with action, Release your cares to God. I have been attempting to do that.

In the beginning of her podcast Emily quotes John Dewey, “we do not learn from an experience, we learn from reflecting on an experience.” The best way to support a friend or family member who is going through a difficult time sometimes is to just listen. As Emily states “To have people in our lives who will not try to come up with answers to our many problems or worse, try to roll them in sugar or solve them by sundown. Instead, we long for people who will sit beside us in a silence, who will carry our complex questions, and maybe when the time is right, ask us some more. Not for the sake of telling us something they think we ought to know is guised with a question mark and not in a nosy or even a purely curious way. But to genuinely ask a question for the sake of love.” So, go ahead ask yourself a few questions and reflect on the answers with love, knowing that God will be with you and love you no matter what the answers are.

The positive ending to the blog is this story that I initially heard about from The Good Newsletter. It is about a man who went into a burning home and helped save a woman in a wheelchair and her grandson. Her wheels were stuck and she could not get out of the home. It is always heartwarming to see acts of love in the community. Thank God for people like this. Praying you have a great week and will take time to stop and ask some curious questions along the way.

Emily P. Freeman’s website

Emily P. Freeman’s Podcast Learn The Art of Asking Questions Ep. 133

The Good Newsletter

Picture of Lake Lure NC
Christian, Faith, Jesus, Podcast

A Harsh Word or a Gentle Answer.

Picture by Mircealancu

When I think of a harsh word or a gentle answer, I think of Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Anger is defined as a strong feeling of displeasure or belligerence aroused by a wrong. If I look at my own reactions to situations sometimes, I allow my emotions get the best of me and the harsh word will come out before the gentle answer. Thankfully over the years and with much personal growth this occurs less frequently.

Why isn’t the gentle answer our default? Could it be partly the way the world expects us to always win, to get to the top of our field, to be better than everyone else, but if we only focus on that, do we ignore empathy and compassion? Another reason could be you have been taken advantage of in the past and in order to get your voice heard you feel like you need to be louder and speak with force. Either way it is not the way Jesus would want us to respond. Jesus would ask us to respond with love and kindness. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-28 Although we all struggle to achieve this; it is something to pray about and work toward.

This week’s podcast I am reviewing is called Rhythms for Life with Gabe and Rebekah Lyons. They are husband and wife who live in Tennessee. Rebekah Lyons is a national speaker and bestselling author of Rhythms of Renewal book. An old soul with a contemporary, honest voice, Rebekah reveals her own battles to overcome anxiety and depression—and invites others to discover and boldly pursue their God-given purpose from a place of freedom. In this podcast they interview Scott Sauls, he is the senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, co-founder of the Nashville Institute for Faith and Work, and an author. He previously served at New York City’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church as a lead and preaching pastor alongside Dr. Timothy Keller. His new book “A Gentle Answer” is based off of Proverbs 15:1 and is a great resource for anyone seeking to engage Christianity in a divided culture. In the podcast they talk about his new book and about how Scott overcame anxiety and depression. Scott says “If you are going through a panic attacks or anxiety there are strategies and resources, people and communities that can come along side you to help you. The cure rate is very high if you are resourced well. Depression is harder to come out of. You can do it with medication or without but always with counseling! Don’t take enough medication to take all the pain away, just take enough so you can think clearly. You will need friends who have walked through it that you can talk to and trust.” Gabe asked Scott to describe to people that Pastors don’t have it all together and don’t have it all figured out. They are just like everyone else. Scott talks about two Pastors who committed suicide when he was in seminary. One of them wrote a note stating “I have been wrestling with depression for a while. I am trying to get help but I know I am going down. When a minister discloses to the people that he serves that he is struggling with depression he will lose his ministry.” Scott makes a very strong point saying “We all have some form of brokenness or form of I am not complete. Jesus needs to make this new for us. Pastors feel like they cannot talk about it.” His point about having friends who are walking close to God to lean on and talk to is so important. Gabe states “The world pits us against each other. You are the voice telling us this is not the way it has to be.” Scott responds saying his book brings gentlness into a hostile environment. “It seems some people have an impulse to judge and punish. This increases anxiety for those who want peace.” Gabe points out “anxiety, stress, and overachieving can be fueled by a culture that says we have to win but Scott’s message is you need to love not win! You don’t lose points from God because you are gentle and kind to people who you think are wrong on certain issues that are important to you. You actually win because you demonstrating His love for them.” This is a good message and I hope you will listen to the full podcast and find areas in your life where you could use a gentle word instead of a harsh answer.

My uplifting piece to the blog is an Instagram video by Carlos Whittaker, it is him talking to his white neighbor about why he painted his white bunny statue black. The video is called “Now For the Hard Part of Ending Racism.” It made me cry in a good way.

Rhythms for Life Podcast with Scott Sauls

Rebekah Lyons’ website

Christian, Jesus, Podcast

Be The Bridge

Picture by April Sylvester

This post is a little different than the rest. I wrestled with the decision to use this topic or not and what I realized is this topic is too important not to talk about. Racial reconciliation, you have heard a lot about it over the last few weeks. As a white Christian woman, it saddens me that this is where we are as a country in 2020. We still have not moved passed the hatred and dehumanization of African American/People of Color. God made us ALL in His image and made us diverse for a reason. He loves us all and calls us to love everyone. Just as the Jews and Gentiles were at odds about who was righteous in Jesus day, it seems today the battle is about the color of our skin.

What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. Romans 3:9; 19-20

But are we aware of our sin or do we just not talk about it and when someone speaks disparagingly about people of color, do we ignore it? I have to admit I have been in this situation twice in the last five years and I did not speak up. When I think back on it and my lack of action it makes me sick to my stomach. I said nothing, which means I did nothing, which means I attributed to the racial hatred. I have since repented and asked God for forgiveness but it still weighs heavy on my heart. I am learning to be a better advocate for my friends of color.

The Podcast I am reviewing today is from Annie and Eddie Keep Talking. They interview LaTasha Morrison, founder of Be the Bridge. Latasha is a speaker, author, reconciler, bridge-builder and leader, committed to educate people on cultural intelligence and racial literacy. She founded Be the Bridge in 2016 to encourage racial reconciliation among all ethnicities, to promote racial unity in America, and to equip others to do the same.

Eddie begins with the question “What can I contribute to the conversation?” LaTasha replied, “You can help elevate my voice. By posting on social media or whatever platform you have has shown solidarity. It is saying I am with you and this is my action to show that. It may not be your story but we are connected so it is my story. It means so much when people speak out for us.” Eddie asks, “This is not a new thing, why has this blown up now?” LaTasha says “It is a perfect storm; you have everyone who has camera with them all the times and social media platforms to post it on. In the last four years the remarks have gone from covert to overt expressions. Plus, the pandemic, people working from home, school is out and more people are paying attention.” This statement from LaTasha was an enlightening to me, “We attach humanity to the behavior of a person. During slavery, for people to consciously deal with it you had to de-humanize people of color. We were considered three fifths of a person and counted as chattel. That narrative was being spoken, and because you were seen as beastly you had to be controlled.” Annie asks “What is helpful for your white friends to do, the next right steps that will feel supportive?” LaTasha said “Educate your white friends. It helps our kids as they are learning and growing. The narrative becomes less scary. Who are you listening to? Make sure you are learning and listening to people of color. Learn the issues and unlearn bad behavior. It is ok if you mess up, just don’t get offended. Own your mistakes and don’t let your pride creep in.” Toward the end of the podcast they talk about how to speak to kids about racial inequality and much more. It is definitely worth a listen. Also, LaTasha has a new podcast called Be the Bridge, I will link to that below too. I know I have more to learn and the next book on my reading list is Be the Bridge.

Here is where I usually put an uplifting story but today I am going to link to an article from the Good Newsletter. It lists out many resources to become more educated about racial inequality and racial reconcilation, articles, books and podcasts, you can find that here.

I’m sorry for the heaviness of this post but it is something that has to be addressed and we as white Americans should not be ashamed to say we have been doing it wrong, repent, and learn the loving way we can help support our friends of color. Praying you have a great week and keep listening and learning.

Annie and Eddie Keep Talking with LaTasha Morrison

Be the Bridge website

Be the Bridge Podcast

LaTasha Morrison’s website

Picture from Jamie Ivey’s website

Christian, Jesus, Podcast

Where to Next?

Welcome to the new website! As you can tell it has a slightly different look to it and the URL has changed to thegodlypodreview.com. In the weeks to come you will see a few more changes. Now back to the blog ….

Do you ever stop to ask God what should your next move be? I don’t mean physically moving your home, although for me and my family last year that was the case. I’m referring to what does He want you to do to serve more in your community, reaching out to someone to begin a friendship, a possible job change, or how to reach your kids more? Most of the time I have to intentionally look to God for answers and to be honest a good portion of my life, probably 38 years of it, I thought I knew what was best for me. Come to find out that was not the case, in the end God’s way has always yielded a better return than mine. In their heart’s humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9 Are you allowing God to establish your steps or do you prefer to take the lead and run ahead of what He has planned for you? I find when I do that, I end up taking 20 steps backwards and then stop and say oh yeah by the way God what should I be doing in this situation? Then I begin to take rights steps forward in God’s perfect will.

The Podcast I am reviewing this week is from Proverbs 31 Ministries. If you are not aware Lysa TerKeurst is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and a New York Times best-selling author. She has authored many Christian centered books, devotionals, and Bible studies. I completed one of her Bible studies called Unglued and found it very helpful. Two people that work for Proverbs 31 Ministries host the Podcast, Meredith Brock and Kaley Olson. The name of this Podcast is “What Does God Want Me to do Next” and they are interviewing a young woman who also works for Proverbs 31, Shae Tate. This topic is very relevent to many people and as Shae says “It translates into different seasons of our lives. We reaffirm our calling over and over in our lives. We ask what am I suppose to do and where am I suppose to go?” I like how she points out that “we all need direction and sometimes are afraid of doing the wrong thing but it is best for us to seek God’s call on our lives no matter what season we are in.” Another important argument she made, “God is reconciling us to Him, He is calling us to Himself, so we can help others be reconciled to God. We all have this calling and it comes out differently for each of us through our individual gifts.” Meredith states “God is saying come and be intimate with me and from that deep relationship we will gain wisdom.” This scripture seemed to sum it up:

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:8-11

Proverbs 31 Ministries links to a 6-week devotional that ties into this topic called “Thy Will be Done”, you can find it here. Links to the Proverbs 31 website and this Podcast can be found below.

The uplifting end to the blog is this newsletter I started to receive recently. It is called The Good Newsletter and you can sign up for it here. All of the articles are positive but the one I really enjoyed was about a church in Berlin Germany. They invited the nearby Mosque worshipers to worship at their church on Fridays during Ramadan since they ran out of room due to social distancing requirements. How loving and hospitable are the leaders of the Martha Lutheran Church? They are living out 1 Peter 4:8-10. I am praying you have a great week and spend a little time asking God where to next.

Proverb’s 31 Ministries

Proverb’s 31 Ministries Podcast “What Does God Want Me to do Next?”

Lysa TerKeurst website

Pictures from Pixabay

Christian, Jesus, Podcast

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

Christian, Jesus, 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

Christian, Jesus, Podcast

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:

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