Joyful Family Celebrations

Joyful Family Celebrations | Joyful family celebrations take planning. No matter what time of the year we are in we can find ourselves overwhelmed! In this episode of One More Child Podcast, we will discuss how to look for the good in our family life. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast Joyful Family Celebrations Episode 28

Joyful family celebrations take planning. No matter what time of the year we are in we can find ourselves overwhelmed! In this episode of One More Child Podcast, we will discuss how to look for the good in our family life.

Thanks to our sponsor – The Star Movie – limited run December 7 and 8th 2019 – the DVD is still available for purchase.

Faith brings us together. Happy Anniversary to The Star, which debuted on this day in 2017! Celebrate the film by seeing its re-release in theaters this holiday season, December 7 and 8! Tickets here: http://www.thestarmovie-tickets.com

Be sure to share this episode with a friend, it is easy to do by going to OMCP.com

My pastor has it right when he says that those who see good in others or situations always see good and for those who don’t they only see bad. It seems that the busier we are the more we become overwhelmed and less satisfied with life. I think it is all a matter of perspective.

When it comes to celebrations sometimes we put so much time in effort in impressing others that we lose sight of the real focus of the celebration. One year my then four-year-old daughter attended a birthday party hosted by a family with some amazing resources. When we drove onto the property we were greeted with balloons lining the driveway and signs leading the guests to park and a clown that greeted the children at the door. Of course, the inside of the home was on high-birthday-alert with signs, banners, balloons, and games. And yes there was even a pony ride. My daughter was so overwhelmed she did not want me to leave.

This one incident showed me that the key to happiness for our family was not in overwhelming the senses but in focusing on the joyful family celebration aspect, and if we invited a few friends then that would be fine.

We cannot please everyone and when we try to do this we will feel frustration. Joyful family celebrations are those in which we create memories.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What do I want my family to remember from this celebration?
  2. What is the overall goal? Is it a birthday memory or a milestone such as graduation?
  3. Are we celebrating a holiday? What is the one thing I want to do to make it memorable?
  4. Can I reuse things I have around the house?
  5. Can everyone participate in the setup and prep?

A friend recently shared that she didn’t buy gifts for her children once they reached a certain age for Christmas because they took family trips instead. She even did this for birthdays. The idea in her mind was to create a memory instead of buying an object they would eventually break or grow out of. Each family needs to make these decisions themselves and as with most things, whatever decision you make is probably right for your family.

Remember the focus is on the person, not the event. I doubt the four-year-old whose party we attended even remember that one event because more than likely her fifth, sixth and so forth were more spectacular. Talk to your child, your spouse and find out what they envision for that day? At one time my kids told me they did not want parties other than the immediate family, instead, we took a trip to an amusement park or their all-time favorite, camping.

As we approach the holiday season keep this in mind. Focus on the reason for the season and remember the joy begins with what is in our heart. Refresh your time with the Lord and He will provide an abundance of joy for you to pass on to your families! I pray this for you and yours especially as we head into our daily lives which are often filled with spills and tears. Know you are doing the best thing for your family taking the time to be with them. No one loves your kids the way you do and that my friends is the biggest blessing you can give them! Until next time – God’s blessing be upon you and your family.

 

Pro-Life Minsitry

Pro Life | Have you wanted to help the pro-life ministry? What can you do with love and compassion? With today's special guest is Father Frank Pavone known for his work with Priests For Life, he shares ways we can be involved to help bring in the culture of life. | #podcast #christianpodcast #pro-lifePro-life Ministry with Fr. Pavone Episode 27

Have you wanted to help the pro-life ministry? What can you do with love and compassion? With today’s special guest is Father Frank Pavone known for his work with Priests For Life, he shares ways we can be involved to help bring in the culture of life.

Thanks to our sponsor – One More Child available here.

Visit Fr. Pavone at his website:

About Father Pavone – Father Pavone is one of the most recognized pro-life advocates. He is also the President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion.

Listen to the first interview with Father Pavone on Pro-Life

We often hear about the pro-life movement, but we’re really not sure what to do.

In the previous episode, we discussed Roe vs. Wade the legal decision that brought to the forefront the issue of abortion. Father Pavone knew Norma Mccorvey and was familiar with her decision to become a Christian. Father points out the pain and emotional hurt involved with those who would have an abortion. And that is something that we can’t forget, the person behind the decision. He encourages us to be empathic instead of being angry and pointing fingers. However, we want to help people realize there is a choice and many entities available to help.

Points to Remember:

  1. You can save lives.
  2. Realize those who feel they have no hope feel like they have to have an abortion.
  3. There are alternatives available and you can connect people with those alternatives.
  4. There are many websites for help!

Helpful Information.

  1. PregnancyCenters.org   You can type in a zip code and it shows the centers closest to where that person lives. They assess the needs of the individual and this is 24-7 and bilingual English. Just giving that information assures you that you can save someone’s life and spread the information in your community, have your churches put it in the church bulletin, talk to school counselors, make sure they know about it, spread the word in any way that you can.
  2. Rachel’s Vineyard is for people that have had abortions and they’re in great pain and are suffering deeply. This center helps people who are suffering the pain of an abortion to find healing and forgiveness and peace.
  3. A link on Priest for Life.org – Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More Testimonies

There are ministries, retreats, and resources close to where many people live – there is help out there. The greatest thing that anyone can do is to have this information at their fingertips. You can save lives and help to heal the wounds in people’s hearts. We are not being judgmental here, we’re not pointing fingers, we’re not to condemn. Once people realize the positive spirit in which the pro-life movement operates, then they’ll be ready to get involved in a whole bunch of the other activities, which we can also discuss as we continue here.

Abortion is such a deep wound that at first, the person who experiences it doesn’t even want to acknowledge it happened. They shut down a whole part of themselves, their relationships, etc. So many couples that we have dealt with this whether they were married or not, once they went to get the abortion we constantly hear them say, “Well, we never spoke about it again.”

And, and it is a whole dimension of the person and of the relationship that just shuts down, that’s not healthy. And that’s not the path to healing. It doesn’t go away just because we ignore it. And then once people do start facing up to what they realize is something that is holding them back from healing it will help them recover.

Questions People Ask After Abortion:

  1. What does that mean for my future?
  2. Can I trust myself anymore?
  3. Can I trust those around me?
  4. Can I trust God?

This leads to a terrible downward spiral and devastation. It leads to all sorts of other problems, self-destructive behavior or substance abuse sometimes suicidal behavior. It leads to broken relationships, inability to make decisions or to carry on with one’s education or career. And on and on. Not to mention various physical damage that’s done overall. One of the things we can do to help people find the path to healing is to go to Abortion testimonies.com.  This is part of our silent no more campaign. Many people have survived abortion and hey want to share their story.

Those stories are out there precisely for us all to use so that people can understand how, how terribly painful and destructive abortion is. And again, lead them away from that path.

What is Planned Parenthood?

Let’s put it this way. If you ask the question, “What is the largest business in the world that sells the most abortions?” It’s planned Parenthood. It is the largest abortion business in the world. It is furthermore an organization that has been involved in many illegal activities. It’s under investigation by federal and state governments. And it is a very political organization. Planned Parenthood pours, tens of millions of dollars into the campaigns of politicians that want to keep abortion going.

The title sounds very nice, but it’s not about planning to be a parent. It’s about planning not to be a parent. It’s how to kill the child inside of you. This, unfortunately, is the biggest commitment that planned Parenthood has. So, you know, we need to learn more about it. But the good news is that there are many more health care facilities for women and for all citizens in America that do not perform abortions. Many more of those facilities exist than do the planned Parenthood facilities. There’s plenty of ways to give healthcare without killing children,

Right? I mean, there are many free clinics that are set up in my own town. If you cannot afford you know, help there, there are places that you can go. So you know, when we know that on an intellectual basis, but sometimes it’s kind of nice to reveal. I mean, I love again, how you put that, you know, what is the largest business in the world that does abortions. And so that does, again, very clearly a father Frank Pavone is known for his clarity of words and really bringing simplicity to, you know, what it actually does. So if someone wants to get involved in the pro-life movement, I’m very blessed. Where I live, we have a very strong organization and you know, these ladies are tireless and we are able to, you know go on a regular basis even if people want to at least once a month. You know, different churches are praying outside of an abortion clinic that is in town. Sadly, we still have them here. So what are some things that people can do if they want to learn more information on how they can help. I know you have the priest for life.org/volunteer and again, I’ll have these on the show notes.

How To Volunteer:

  1. Visit the Priests for Life volunteer page. – The volunteer page gives people an opportunity to let us know what they would like to do, especially in regard to elections. We have want to help pro-life candidates get into office. We need good law makers. And if we want the laws to protect the unborn! We need to elect lawmakers that are willing to do that. So we help people to get involved in that way.
  2. There’s also a website we have called stop abortion now.org and what we have there are action alerts, especially if there is going to be a law passed, for example, in Congress that would advance the protection of the unborn. You know, we need people to make a little call, call into their representative, let them know that they support that bill or, or vice versa. If there’s a bad bill in the Congress or in an individual state that’s going to expand abortion. We need people to get on the phone, and make some calls and say, “Hey, I don’t believe in this.” You don’t have to be an expert on the bill. You just have to say, Hey, I’m a voter. I’m a taxpayer and I don’t like this. And that’s really all you have to say. But we guide people on how to do that and stop abortion.
  3. We have prayer campaign.org where people can participate in different activities, for example, prayer vigils that take place in the community 40 days for life, etc.

We pray that Father Pavone continues to be blessed and the Lord fills him with all that he needs to continue on with this very important ministry. I know it is difficult. There’s a lot of opposition. Even among leaders who should be helpful and supportive and you have persevered.

 

 

Gift Giving

Gift Giving | What is the greatest gift that we can give to others? Well there are plenty that come to mind but the greatest gift-giving comes from Almighty God and His Son, Jesus. | #ChristianPodcast #podcastGift Giving Episode 119

What is the greatest gift that we can give to others? Well, there are plenty that come to mind but the greatest gift-giving comes from Almighty God and His Son, Jesus. In this episode, we will discuss how gift-giving sometimes takes center stage when the focus should be on the Lord!

Thanks to our sponsor – The Star Movie – limited run December 7 and 8th 2019 – the DVD is still available for purchase.

Faith brings us together. Happy Anniversary to The Star, which debuted on this day in 2017! Celebrate the film by seeing its re-release in theaters this holiday season, December 7 and 8! Tickets here: http://www.thestarmovie-tickets.com

We celebrate Jesus at Christmas and Easter the two biggest seasons for Christians. And, when my kids were little I’d ask them what season was their favorite and would you believe it was Easter? Yes, there was definitely candy involved but the main reason was the fasting that came beforehand!

As a Catholic-Christian we celebrate the 40 days of Lent the time leading up to Easter Sunday and we “give up” something. Whether it is tangible like chocolate or candy to something like not being negative or perhaps setting aside a longer period of time to pray. In this giving up we are reminded each time we want to stray that we can not and this equates and is symbolic for giving up sin. So when Easter Sunday comes it is a time to put aside the fasting and to celebrate!

But, at Christmas time while Advent is similar to Lent in that we are counting down to the glorious day of our Savior’s birth (and yes – I realize it is not the exact date). It is much more difficult with full calendars, invitations from friends and families and a variety of to-do’s that center around baking – shopping or writing cards.

Christmas tends to be a time of giving – and while we give we often overlook that all some people need is our gift of compassion and to feel needed. When we are in the midst of our giving we overlook the real needs.

I once did a podcast on the things that kids want for presents (Presents Kids WantPresents Kids Can Make) and it was not what you might think. Sure that shiny object is fun for a short span of time but truthfully the gifts that you can give that last often can not be purchased from a store.

My kid’s favorite gifts consisted of time camping or time we spent together as a family reading in front of the fireplace. Once on a trip to Canada from Florida, my son asked if I brought along our storybook and if we could read in front of the fireplace in the lobby of the hotel! Friends, it was summer! What did this show me? That my son loved the time we spent together.

The gifts that keep on giving are the gifts we consider and think about. It is the gifts of baked goods, or the refrigerator magnets grandkids make, or just time spent doing something special.

My gifts to my grandkids consist of Zoo Family Membership and things they need. Most of all it will be time spent together baking and doing crafts – one of my favorite things and theirs as well. But the greatest gift you can give your family? The gift of Love and the gift of Faith.

Faith is the gift that keeps on giving. When my kids were little I created an Advent Calendar and each day I gave them a number, on the back was a Scripture Verse and a short note I wrote them. It was not only a count down to Christmas but a time of prayer and personal love notes written to them! The calendar is still up on two of my children’s rooms – all these years later! Another way we celebrated faith is with an Advent Wreath and we lit one calendar each week (and each evening we lit that same candle). We would pray a Scripture verse each night and then spent time in prayer for our family and each of us gave a “praise report,” what we were thankful for each day.

Remember this year that the best gifts are the ones that last!

Dear Lord Jesus thank you for giving me the gift of faith – and I ask, precious Lord that you give me the grace to pass on this gift with those I love and cherish! I know this is one of the greatest gifts are love and the gift of faith. Please fill me to overflowing with your love, the love that surpasses all understanding so that I may share this love with others. Please help me with my gift-giving this year to focus on the person and their needs. Please, Lord, hear the prayers I pray for the following people … help them Lord in their struggles and bring joy and victory in the Name of Jesus! And, I pray this in Your precious Name, My God. Amen!

 


Thank you to our Sponsor -The Star Movie

 

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Peace Within Families

Peaceful Families | Next to world peace, we want peace within families! I’ve heard horror stories of siblings not talking to each other for years and in this episode, we will pray for broken families and those who are lost to the hope of Jesus. | #ChristianPodcast #podcastPeace Within Families Episode 118

Next to world peace, we want peace within families! I’ve heard horror stories of siblings not talking to each other for years and in this episode, we will pray for broken families and those who are lost to the hope of Jesus.

Thanks to our sponsor – Media Angels, Inc. and don’t forget to download our Prayer Journal free for subscribers on this website.

Peace on earth – peace be with you – peace within families it all goes hand-in-hand. I sometimes marvel that we want world peace but those who are born with the same parents, sometimes can’t get along! Of course, there are many psychological reasons that this happens, but truthfully the real reasons are not so complex if we really think about it.

I’ve created podcasts on the topic of forgiveness and sometimes it is the hurt and the forgiveness that keeps people apart. One of the biggest problems I see among families it the ability to communicate.

We get upset, our feelings get hurt, we can’t understand, we are floored and we are … well, fill in the blanks. We’ve all had arguments with those we love – and the more you love the harder it is at times to keep from getting hurt. We wear our hearts on our sleeves especially those of us who are parents, and we hope that our kids and our grandkids will see that we love them. But, seeing is often difficult when our actions may show something different.

How do we show we love – for different people it is in different ways – two quick examples for me it is doing something, baking you cookies, having you over for a meal, opening my home or well-doing. For my husband, it is time – and it is kindness. But peace is something that transcends doing!

John 16:33

Peace is the feeling of being protected, safe and most of all it happens when we feel people understand us. That is why within families without good communication it falls apart! With God we talk, He listens – very rarely do we hear the Lord … but when we do, whether it is through the Word, a friend or in prayer it may not be what we want to hear.

God is our safe haven. In God, we are guaranteed peace. Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

But back to peace within families – how do we achieve this? Especially in the toxic climate in which we, as Americans live – and at the time of this recording! I’ve heard of family members who avoid getting together for the holidays because they do not want to get into heated discussions!

So friends, here are some things to pray about if we want peace!

  1. Pray for the Lord to shower those you love and are family members with love, and that surpasses all understanding. Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  2. Listen: when others talk listen and pray for discernment – and Proverbs 1:5 Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—
  3. Pray to do God’s will – whether that is to comfort or love. We don’t have to agree but we can do what God would do – maybe not agree, but love

Only God can love unconditionally but I do believe that as family members we have a special grace from God to forgive if we allow ourselves to be humbled and realize we are not perfect! I know hard to do and easy to say –

SO, Let’s Pray for His Divine Grace.

Dear Jesus, I pray for peace within my family. I know You love me all the time with your unconditional love and I ask for the Divine grace to love those who have hurt me and ask that those I have hurt forgive me. Lord I don’t want to conform or be less than I am, I want to be a shining star that shows Your love to others. I want to reflect Your light, and I want to be the one who plants the seeds for You to reap. I ask my God that you bless those I pray for and specifically for their needs … thank-you Jesus for all you have done in my family and for the peace and joy that we will feel – and I pray this in Jesus, precious Name. Amen.

Publishing Kids Books

Publishing Kids Books | Have you wanted to publish books? What about publishing kids books? Today my guest, Autumn McKay has successfully published books along with her husband, Seth. These books are geared for little ones and she shares her journey with you! | #podcast #publishingkidsbooks #booksPublishing Kids Books ~ Episode 22

Have you wanted to publish books? What about publishing kids books? Today my guest, Autumn McKay has successfully published books along with her husband, Seth. These books are geared for little ones and she shares her journey with you!

Thanks to our sponsor Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference  

 

Publishing Kids Books Top Tips:

  1. An idea that resonates with your buyer – in this case the author, Autumn McKay is a teacher who geared her books currently for kindergarten and younger. In addition, her engineer husband also wrote coloring books.
  2. Coloring books – great idea, because they are consumed. Consumable books are a great way to generate additional sales.
  3. Traditional vs. Self-publishing? Traditional publishers still want authors to market their own books, and the McKays decided it was in their best interest to self-publish and keep all the profit.
  4. Instagram is a way the book is marketed and a way to gather emails.
  5. Call to action – whether you are on an interview, speaking before groups of pre-school moms, or even on social media giving away something helps. Autumn used a lead magnet – giving the listener a “taste” of what her books are like in exchange for an email to add to her list. She can then give special promotions and more. Here is a call to action Autumn used as a lead generator. 
  6. Email lists are important, they are a way for the subscriber to learn more about the author and what the author offers.
  7. Giving the listener a PDF of books – here is an example of what Autumn’s books: BestMomIdeas Book Page PDF

You may want to check out Felice’s book, Information In A Nutshell Writing and Publishing:

 

 

 

Thankful All The Time

Thankful All The Time | Don’t you wish we could be thankful all the time? Especially in this time of joy sometimes we can’t see because we are covered with the business of every day. In this episode, we will discuss ways to keep thankfulness at the forefront of each day. | #ChristianPodcast #podcast Thankful All The Time Episode 117

Don’t you wish we could be thankful all the time? Especially in this time of joy sometimes we can’t see because we are covered with the business of every day. In this episode, we will discuss ways to keep thankfulness at the forefront of each day.

Thanks to our sponsor, Sony / Affirms Films and the movie A Beautiful Day Movie.

Colossians 3:15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Can we be called to peace and thankfulness – of course, Scripture command it but without the love and providence of Almighty God we can’t do it alone. If only we have time, right? It is always about time. It is the one thing people say to me over and over again.

  1. I have not time to pray.
  2. I have no time to listen to podcasts.
  3. I have no time – no time – no time.

In fact, I bought into the no-time lie for so many years that I am not a time hoarder – I hate to waste time! I am serious about this – but God has shown me that HIS ways are so much greater than my ways.

I thought that someday when my kids were grown I’d have so much time. You know I use to worry that I would be lonely, and I would have nothing to do – whatever would I do if I wasn’t being a mom to five and helping my husband with his business as well as working on mine – in my spare time? Well, fast forward and I’m here! I’m in an almost-empty-nester home and have so many projects underway that I forget the main thing I want to focus on this time of the year and that is being thankful, not only each day but all the time.

Why? Because it reminds me that my heritage is not here on earth but above. I am reminded that when I am weak He is strong. I am nothing without God in my life. Nothing, not even chocolate makes me happy the way God does! I have a glass paperweight that says “We do not know what the future holds, but we do know Who holds the future.”

Who holds your future? Is it your accomplishments? Is it the people you love in your life, your family? Your friends? The future is not only now and if we can think “be thankful all the time” even in the midst of hardship, but we do have a slice of heaven with us each day. How do we grow for the better? Usually, it is after overcoming a hardship in our life. We can have a wonderful testimony at the end and always point to God. In fact, have you ever looked back to a particularly difficult time in your life and seen the hand of God? I have and then I’m sad that I was not more thankful for the situation.

I’m reminded of this wonderful scripture – Hebrews 12:28  Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe

The song 10,000 Reasons, “Bless the Lord oh, my soul, worship His Holy Name.”

When we play praise and worship music it is easier to be reminded of the ways we should be thankful all the time.

Sometimes we just need to write the ways we are thankful.

  1. I am so thankful for you my, God.
  2. I am so thankful for the family you have gifted me with.
  3. I am so thankful for my Christian friends.
  4. I am so thankful for my non-Christian friends because you have put them in my life for your Divine purpose – not mine!
  5. I am so thankful for the air I breathe, for the day you’ve given me, for the way you love me, for the grace you’ve given me for continuing each and every day.
  6. Add your own ways to be thankful!

Funny story – I’ve always avoided exercise and I married a man who was not only a stellar and decorated athlete – but he was a Physical Education major and my children are almost all athletic. Why avoid exercise – oh, we don’t have enough time for me to share all the reasons. But, what am I most thankful for now – the fact that my husband purchased a treadmill for me! Yes, I am making the time for walking each and every day and I have used this time to pray – to listen to podcasts and to read, all while walking in my own home.

Who would have thought! Friends, the strangest things happen in life – and they are mostly wonderful! So, I praise God for the gift of time to walk each day.

Ephesians 5:20

2 Timothy 1:7

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord Jesus, I worship you and I love you – You have given me a spirit that is not timid – a spirt that give us power, love and self-discipline and I chose you Lord – 1000x a day I chose You! I come just as I am and you know all of my faults, I come to you with an open heart – I come asking for the spirit to be thankful all the time and joyous! I ask you, Lord, to bless those I pray for now … and I thank you, my God, for all the wonderful blessings ahead of time because you are an awesome and righteous God! I praise you and I thank you, Amen!

 

 


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Communication Coach

Communicators Coach | Have you wondered what a communication coach does, well with Marnie Swedberg is an expert. Do you wish you had a ministry or were a speaker? Marnie gives you great information that will launch or grow your career. | #christianpodcast #podcastInside The Mind of a Communication Coach with Special Guest, Marnie Swedberg

Have you wondered what a communication coach does, well with Marnie Swedberg is an expert. Do you wish you had a ministry or were a speaker? Marnie gives you great information that will launch or grow your career.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels host of the Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference.

Do everything for the glory of God! Marnie is a coach and mentors communicators.

Learn more about Marnie at Marnie.com

What is your focus and what did God create you to do? Cause we all want to do everything or what somebody else is doing, but what God wants us to do is what he created us to do. Marnie has learned this and her business focus is to help authors and speakers to achieve their best.

The Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference is the place to be in February and Marnie will begin a session with teaching about powerful speed networking and getting the most from your introduction. She will share how one of the most powerful ways to meet and be remembered by people that you just meet.

We discuss:

  1. How do you build your ministry?
  2. Learn the keys to communication?
  3. What can a communication coach teach you?
  4. Building a solid foundation with God – God is in the driver’s seat.
  5. Collaboration and networking component

What is your role as a Communicator:

Insider strategies and tips focus on targeting your topics, titles, and descriptions in order to capture the attention of your focus audience. Publishers, producers, and planners work with people all the time. Do you know how to position yourself so that you get noticed? What if you want to be on a guest blogger or a guest on a podcast? These are things you will learn at the Communicators Conference. 

You will learn about ways to explode your audience with targeted topics, titles and 30-word wonders as well as so many other things. There is a skill to bubbling to the top of the pile. And that’s where Marnie works with the speakers over at women’s speakers.com. My goal is to help women get ready, get seen and get booked because those all three are critically important. And that’s what we’re going to be doing at this conference to work on the publicity piece.

Coaching for Communicators is important if you want to take your message to a new level. Marnie will do some in-person coaching.

Sometimes it seems like you might be going down a rabbit trail. But honestly that’s how God holds the world together. If you look at the world it’s like this big web and that’s how women’s minds are. Our minds are like a huge web and it’s this big rule of you know electrical connections and everything’s connected to everything else. These coaching, the group sessions are so powerful. So I’m going to be doing two of them. One of them just on your basic speaking ministry, what are your most pressing questions and the other one on the international focus, how to, how to think about going global. And it’s a, it’s a specific session as well. Like it’s going to even include like a packing list for when you’re traveling to an impoverished nation. I mean we’re going to get detailed as well. How to think about it.

When you actually get to opportunity to meet these people in person, to actually connect with them, eye to eye, to see their body language, to have a hug, to hold hands and pray together. This is a whole different dimension. And I think one of the things I’m most excited about is the opportunity for networking and collaborating at this next level where yes, you can reach out to people by email. And I have so many great friends who have never yet met face to face and some of you are coming to the conference. I’m so excited. But for those of you who can’t decide, just pray about it, just ask God, is this, is this something that I should be attending?

Learn more at the Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference.com

 

 

Pro-Life & Family

Pro-Life Family | Education in the pro-life family with the expert in this movement. In this episode, we are going to discuss the history of the pro-life movement and why we need to learn the importance of the ministry. | #Christianpodcast #podcastPro-Life and Family Episode 26 with Special Guest Fr. Frank Pavone

Education in the pro-life family with the expert in this movement. In this episode, we are going to discuss the history of the pro-life movement and why we need to learn the importance of the ministry for life and what we are up against. Secondly, in the next podcast, we will discuss what we can do become more involved why now is the time that our voices are needed in this important movement.

Visit Fr. Pavone at his website:

About Father Pavone – Father Pavone is one of the most recognized pro-life advocates. He is also the President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion.

We will discuss the history of the pro-life movement as well as ways to get involved (in the next episode).

In 1973, the Supreme court legalized abortion throughout pregnancy in the United States by its decision Roe versus Wade. And right after that pro-life efforts began there. In fact, there were some pro-life efforts that began before Roe V Wade. But the movement really began to grow as people said, children in the womb need protection. We need to do something to reverse this policy.

During that time, Pavone was in high school and became aware of abortion of the pro-life movement.

  1. In 1976 Pavone went to Washington DC on the first annual March for Life. He was impressed by the crowd, by the diversity of it, by the determination of these people, by the fact that even though they were confronting a very tragic and sad reality, they were very joyful and positive and prayerful.
  2. Began to get involved in local pro-life activities. And at the same time I felt the call to the priesthood. Long story short, I ended up getting ordained and through all my seminary years and into those first years of the priesthood, abortion was always front and center.
  3. Fr. Pavone preached about it frequently as a new priest. And then I came to a point where I experienced what I can only call a call of conscience. I was very happy doing the work in the parish and doing some teaching as well. But pro-life work became the dominant alarm going off in my mind. And I came to the point where I said, Lord, I, I need to devote myself to this full time.
  4. Felt the need to give his focus to defending the unborn. Cardinal John O’Connor of New York gave him permission to do that in 1993 as the first full-time director of priests for life. And I’ve been doing it ever since.

Pro-Life & Family – There is so much pain for those involved.

People become so emotionally volatile because there’s so much pain involved. Everyone is hurting from one for one reason or another by abortion either because of direct involvement, indirect involvement or just because of the fact that it’s happening all around us. It’s very painful.

  1. So we have to acknowledge that pain.
  2. We have to let people know that we are on their side.
  3. You know, we’re not judging them.
  4. We’re not condemning them.
  5. We’re not against them.
  6. We’re not their enemy.

And if we can convey that by our words and by our tone and by our actions as that should be done first, calm others down. This isn’t personal. You know, this is, we were trying to discuss an issue here.

What is the Pro-Life Issue?

  1. The last thing that abortion supporters want to talk about is abortion.
  2. They talked about the right to choose. Well, that’s not a discussion about abortion. Now you’re talking about who has the right to choose something.
  3. But you have to start by talking about what the something is you, as you’re talking about, obviously the right to choose abortion
  4. Start by talking about what an abortion is.
  5. That cuts through the fog and the distraction and the slogan.
  6. The good news about asking that question is we don’t have to figure out what it is. We just have to read the medical textbooks on how you do abortions or the public testimony of all kinds of doctors and nurses and physician assistants and others that have taken part in an abortion.
  7. When people get right down to it – they do not agree with the abortion procedure.

The strength of the other side comes from their despair, they’re scared.

  1. The of the pro-abortion side has always used the courts to advance their agenda. Starting with Roe V Wade itself, this has never sprung from the will or the vote of the people.
  2. On the other hand, the pro-life movement has always used the legislature’s, including in the States to advance the protection of the unborn, even in the light of Roe versus Wade.
  3. What’s happening now, thanks especially to President Trump and his administration is that more and more pro-life judges are being put in place all across the country.
  4. The other side is saying, “Hey, we want legal abortion. We’ve always wanted legal abortion all throughout pregnancy.” And it’s the courts that have protected that. If the courts are moving now in the wrong direction according to them the wrong direction, we’re going to have to see what we can do in those legislatures that are controlled by Democrats because they are the party that favors abortion without any limits.

Norma (from Roe vs. Wade) was a friend of Father Pavone and he had the privilege of not only getting to know her, he received her into the Catholic church back in 1998. In the early seventies, the lawyers that wanted to change the laws on abortion recruited her. She was pregnant for the third time, didn’t know what to do. And they basically promised her that they would help her. And for her, that meant they would help her, not that they would try to change the law for the whole country. So she was used, they never did help her. She ended up giving birth to the baby and placing the baby for adoption. But meanwhile, in her case, Roe vs. Wade ended up striking down the laws protecting babies. And when she found out about that by reading the Dallas morning news, she learned she was technically the winner of the case.

She wasn’t happy. She was devastated. And, and, and she always was ambivalent about abortion. And, and even in those early years when the pro-abortion groups said to her, Oh, you’ve got to tell the world who you are and write a book and they championed her. Even in those days. She was uncomfortable with abortion. And then as time went on, she became more and more pro-life until the point that n 1995, she got baptized as a Christian. Fr. Pavone started working for the pro-life group. Three years later she decided to become a Catholic. She spent the rest of her life working against abortion. And she, she passed away a few years ago, but was very, very committed to overturning the decision that bears her name.

  1. Abortion is becoming less and less popular, but it’s still happening at alarming rates.
  2. Even though those rates are going down, people have to work hard together to save lives.
  3. In the meanwhile to change the laws and policies, we must become educated.
  4. Join the winning team and save more lives.
    1. Equip yourself with knowledge of the issue, not only how to talk about it, but how to actually do the things that do save lives.
    2. Do things that change the laws and public policies. Because we have the opportunity now to do that. More and more people are waking up realizing how bad our abortion policy is, realizing how bad abortion itself is. If we don’t seize this opportunity now, things could get harder later on if the political winds change again in the wrong direction, or if people forget.
    3. Elect pro-life candidates
    4. Get involved in the movement. Everyone can save lives. And here’s the thing I always say is that everyone listening to us has to understand there are certain lives that only they can save, certain people only they can reach. And so life literally depends on it for us getting involved in this great movement.

 

 


Thank you to our Sponsor – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Movie!

Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiveness from America’s most beloved neighbor.

Mercy and Thoughtfulness of Our God

Mercy and Thoughtfulness | This is a time of mercy and thoughtfulness because with both of these items there is hope. It is almost like a math equation. Mercy + Thoughtfulness = Hope, but more than that God has an abundance of both. | #christianpodcast #podcast #mercyMercy and Thoughtfulness Episode 116

This is a time of mercy and thoughtfulness because with both of these items there is hope. It is almost like a math equation. Mercy + Thoughtfulness = Hope, but more than that God has an abundance of both.

Thanks to our sponsor, Sony / Affirms Films and the movie A Beautiful Day Movie.

Show Notes: Mercy and Thoughtfulness

Who else but the creator of the universe considers the sinfulness of man yet gives us mercy to overcome thought His ever-present Spirit and His love for us in the small and simple things. When you think about the things that bring us joy on an ongoing daily basis it isn’t looking down on your fingers and a piece of jewelry you are wearing, or admiring a handbag – or if you are a guy, success in business, being a good provider or perhaps winning at a game or having a team win or something similar.

The things that give us joy are those things that are fleeting like family, friends, love, and those more everlasting like faith, and hope. God thought of everything. God is thoughtful!

God is merciful and God is truth – God is everything that is good. But do we realize this in our everyday life or do we allow our situations to get us down? If you look up the word thoughtfulness in the Bible you won’t find one entry – try it! But we do know by definition the Lord is thoughtful because He has provided for us in so many ways that we can never thank him enough or repay him!

Mercy and Thoughtfulness takes grace from God!

I love the Book of Proverbs because if you want to see morsels of truth you should read it end to end. I’m going to read you some wisdom from Proverbs 18 – just a few verses because I invite you to read it for yourself in your quiet time and meditate on the words…

Do we have the heart to discern – to acknowledge that God is the seat of mercy and thoughtfulness for our lives – that we want to seek out the wise and not the foolish. SO many times friends we are wiped out because of something we have no control over.

Think about it: Are there things in your life you are holding on to that you can not control? Are there people in your life that bring you down to your knees? For all of those things, we can not control that hold us bound – put them on paper and release them to the Lord. For all those people who upset or bother us – pray for them. In fact, I am taking my own advice and some people that I do not know personally but are upsetting to me are going to be the recipient of my prayers starting today!

The human spirit in Proverbs 14 talks about how we can overcome illness but our spirits become crushed by so many things in this world. Our spirits are our reasoning powers – they consist of the ability to make decisions, have insights and judgments, to reason and understand, to be aware and have feelings, emotions – and passions! But our souls – our souls will not die. Our bodies will die and our spirt might be crushed but our soul, if we are a believer will rest with God – and that my friends is the goal of my life to do everything I can each and every day to be held to account by a merciful God.

Do you praise God for His Mercy – for His thoughtfulness – for His creation? Remember this when we are down or “crushed” as Proverbs reminds us by the weight of the world.

God is the giver of all gifts – as I record this we are coming into the time of Thanksgiving and Christmas times that either bring you warmth and joy or make you sad. Why are we sad? Usually, it is for things we can not control, such as the death of a loved one or someone we are missing. And, yes – we remember as we should and keep those we love close to our hearts but not to the point that we can not move forward and be present for those who are here and need us.

Every single one of us is needed – do not let the enemy rob you of your joy and peace. We are needed as prayer warriors as those who help our families, those at church or our neighbors. Ask the Lord each day – how do you want to use me today, Lord?

Proverbs 18:16 says a gift opens the way – who is not receptive to gifts? But, maybe you are like me and like to give gifts rather than receive? Interesting side note here – the Lord taught me that it was okay to receive gifts. There was a time when money was tight and I could not give as I wanted and someone gifted me. Instead of being grateful I was horrified and wanted to refuse the gift! But, then a wise pastor reminded me that in time past when I gave the recipients were grateful. The gift was ultimately from God. God knows our hearts and He does provide – not always as we want but as He wishes.

If we are filled by God’s love we can’t help to be overflowing with love for others. Think about it. God’s love spills over on us and it gives us so much joy we can not help to share this joy with others.

Let’s Pray: God you gift us with so many things but your mercy and thoughtfulness for the little and big things in our lives often go unnoticed or overlooked by us. You are the author of life. You are the giver of every good thing. During this time of giving thanks, we ask you, Lord, to help us to remember those who are less fortunate, and to bring to mind people you want us to pray for on a daily basis. Dear Lord we pray for these people right now, and those near to our hearts … Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with your love, your joy, and your mercy. And I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

 


Thank you to our Sponsor – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Movie!

Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiveness from America’s most beloved neighbor.

Learning At Conferences

Learning at Conferences | Are you ready? Cindy Rushton's back! Learning at conferences is important but so much more important if it is live! Join Felice Gerwitz and Cindy Rushton as she shares! | #podcast #christianpodcast #christianconferenceLearning At Conferences Episode 20 – with Cindy Rushton

Are you ready? Cindy Rushton’s back! Learning at conferences is important but so much more important if it is live! Join Felice Gerwitz and Cindy Rushton as she shares what she learned at a recent event and how wonderful the connections were, and what she learned. So much great information for you!

Thanks to our sponsor – Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels host of the Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference.

Want to connect with Cindy?

Cindy Rushton’s Website – CindyRushton.com

Facebook Page – Stepping Up To Your Call

Why attend a live conference? Learning at conferences takes center stage in person!

Here are some things that may help you!

  1. Pay ahead – it is easy to have excuses of why you can’t go.
  2. Plan effectively – take notes but plan to implement.
  3. 31-day challenge ahead of time – get your mindset right!
  4. Connections – a great way to meet people.
  5. Connections on groups such as Facebook.

Conferences, especially learning at conferences when it comes to live events are time and money commitment. When you are invested you tend to want a return on your investment and that is why you will take special care in learning, and actually using the information. Live events challenge you. They introduce you to the mindset of a winner. A winner’s mentality. Many times we want to remain humble and have humility – I get it! But it also means we must focus on succeeding and working smart!

Be sure to connect with Cindy on her Facebook group for the encouragement you need.

 

Faithful Families

Faithful Families | As we approach the season of joy, we look at this through the eyes of faithful families. But does this always happen? What can we do when we have loved ones who have left their faith behind or loved ones that we want to encourage and pray for? | #christianpodcast #faithfulfamilies #UCPNFaithful Families Episode 115

As we approach the season of joy, we look at this through the eyes of faithful families. But does this always happen? What can we do when we have loved ones who have left their faith behind or loved ones that we want to encourage and pray for? Or loved ones who have let us down? In this episode, we will discuss faith from the standpoint of putting God first and all else second.

I want to thank our sponsor, Sony / Affirms Films and the movie A Beautiful Day Movie.

  1. We know the importance of faithful families but how can we accomplish this in a broken world?
    • Constantly sabotaged with the media, education systems that may not align with our thought, etc.
  2. God created perfection – after each day of creation he said, “it was good,” but after he created man on the sixth day he said, “it is very good.”
    • Man was created in the image and likeness – and it was very good.
  3. Only God will not let us down!

The Bible tells us that

1 Corinthians 13 [Full Chapter]

The Excellence of Love ] If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. …
Genesis 1:27-28
27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [a]sky and over every living thing that [b]moves on the earth.
So 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that we must have love – and if we don’t have love we are like a noisy gong — and if we have faith to move mountains but don’t have love were are like nothing – and we are told in Genesis 1:28 that we are to be fruitful and multiply. So, we have love and we have a family – husband – wife – kids – inlaws – brothers – sisters – parents – grandparents – extended family and friends, that is when life gets messy.
We mess up and many times we get upset because of what we believe the ideal is – what we see on television, or the movies, or novels, or our best friend’s marriage. We always think the other person has it together – knows what they are doing – is a better parent – a better person, a better everything.
Don’t believe it! It is a lie. I want to do an entire episode on the lies we tell ourselves but in a nutshell – we listen to these lies we tell ourselves but as the author, we can change the script! So change it, believe that God doesn’t create junk. God is amazing, all-powerful, wonderful and such a gentleman – he allows us free will. And since we have this free will we love our families even when there is a mess.

Importance of faithful families

  1. We as a family are a microcosm of the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
  2. We are on a special mission as apostles, do we listen to what the Lord is telling us and apply it first to our lives (put on your own oxygen mask0 and then to others.
  3. We are laborers. We are the workers and it is up to the Lord to harvest.

Some people carry around guilt about their status as a family or having a faithful family or a family that loves the Lord. Yes, that is our ideal and we need to strive for this ideal. But, it is up to God to reap the seeds we plant. I know some of us came from broken homes or homes that lacked love or awful things that have happened in the past. But, all good things come from God and we need to pray for those who have hurt us and let go.

Pray and let go!

Faithful families require work – it takes time to pull out the Bible, read stories about Holy men and women of God, look for mentors, those who can lead you such as your church group and pastor. Pray. Pray. Pray. And remember God has this. No matter what this is. If we are faithful and keep our eyes on Jesus it is difficult to see the fault in others.

Faithful Families:

  1. Make God the Lord of your home.
  2. Prioritize prayer – morning and evening prayer.
  3. Pray at meals even when out.
  4. Discuss God and faith as a family.
  5. When all else fails pray and let go.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, we know all things are good, very good at your hands. You will for us is to allow us to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to you, but we fail each other, we fail ourselves and most of all we fail you – but through all of this you are love and mercy. You, my God are grace and hope. You are the everlasting light that shines in the darkness. Please, Lord, I ask a blessing upon my family allow them to be faithful, allow them to hope in you to place you first and most of all Lord, allow me to release them into your hands. In the same way, you gave your spirit at your death on the cross to the heavenly Father – we release our hopes, our desires our wants and our dreams to you. Please hear my prayers for those I now pray … and I pray this in Jesus, precious and righteous Name. Amen.

 

Fasting

Fasting | Fasting has never been anything I’ve enjoyed and probably the experience is the same for you. However, it can be redemptive and help us to put into perspective God’s holy will for our lives. | #podcast #christianpodcast #fastingFasting – Episode 114

Fasting has never been anything I’ve enjoyed and probably the experience is the same for you. However, it can be redemptive and help us to put into perspective God’s holy will for our lives.

Thanks to our sponsor: Media Angels.com and Felice Gerwitz on Amazon

Does anyone even fast anymore? That is a question I wonder and ask. As a Catholic, I grew up fasting from meat every Friday. We ate other foods and often they were equally delicious. To this day during the season of Lent, we hold strictly to the no meat rule. For some it is easy and for others, it is not.

Fasting isn’t easy – it isn’t fun and most avoid it or have never fasted in their lives.

Why fast? Well, even Jesus fasted before he began his public ministry and for forty-days. And during this time he was tempted by Satan. Interestingly, Satan used words from Scriptures to make his point and Matthew 4:1-11

Here are some points to consider:

  1. Health benefits
  2. Helps us to remind us to conform to God’s will (why this is important)
  3. To no longer live for himself but for him who loves him and gave himself to us
  4. Unity of the whole person body and should
  5. Helps us to avoid sin
  6. Grow in intimacy with the Lord
  7. Bible talks about fasting
    1. Ester: 4:3
    2. Psalm 35: 13
    3. Daniel 6:16-18
    4. Matthew 17:21 – “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
    5. Acts 13:20

By not eating or denying ourselves nourishment (not drinking coffee, fasting from meat, or having only water, or only bread and water) we allow our souls to be in a position where we are open to listening to Christ to be fed by his saving word. Through fasting in prayer, we become open – we have a hunger that goes beyond food or drink, a hunger to understand and know more about the Almighty. If we fast with the right mindset and heart then it can as the Bible tells us over and over again, be a benefit for us spiritually.

I invite you to try to fast. If you can’t fast from food all day, then fast from a specific thing or fast part of the day, but whatever you do, do it for the glory of God!

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord, I thank you for today and for allowing me to recognize the importance of fasting to get closer to you and I pray for all those who are hurting, all those who cry out to you and need you today Lord. I intercede on their behalf. Teach me how to fast in a way that will help me to understand and love you more. I want to grow in my faith. Dear Lord, I ask specifically for these needs that I have today: and I thank you Lord for being here for me, for listening and for the gift of faith. And, I pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

 

 

Humor and Speaking Meet Tina Levene

Humor and Speaking | Are you funny? Do you use humor and speaking as a combination that helps your audience engage and become captivated with your teaching or subject? | #podcast #christianpodcast #tinalevene Humor and Speaking Meet Tina Levene ~ Episode 19

Are you funny? Do you use humor and speaking as a combination that helps your audience engage and become captivated with your teaching or subject? Today a special guest, author, and featured speaker at the Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference, Tina Levene shares her secrets with you!

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels host of the Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference.

Tina Levene is a survivor! She had a traumatic childhood and has learned resiliency and strength that only can be attributed to God and her faith! She shares that after she became sober and clean in college at twenty-three years old from alcohol and drugs, she had a spiritual awakening. She believes God saved me her from money situations, nightmares, etc. and realized the love of God.

She has put all that energy into her ministry that has been active for twenty-one years! Tina is the author of five book and is passionate about encouraging others to succeed. In 2012 she started writing and journaling on scraps of paper and this ended up in her first book. Her friend, a Christian publisher encouraged her and gave her “permission to write a book” and said he was gonna publish it!

It took fourteen years to actually sit down to write this book–actually I wrote it within a couple of months and it was published.  It was really Holy spirit driven. Tina has a great sense of humor that is very clean, and she transferred all of those gifts into her ministry. She is also an inspirational speaker. Learn how she uses her sense of humor and speaking to motivate women!

Connect with Tina Levene

Here is a complete list of Tina’s topics on the conference website here.

Tina is a featured speaker for the Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference and she is going to talk about: How to energize any audience engagement or moment.

Humor and Speaking

Here are some of the points I speak about with Tina, and she is an expert on humor and speaking.

  1. Tina loves to make people smile and laugh.
  2. Takes coordination to organize those faults and the visions because comedy is it.
  3. Her speaking is a ministry.
  4. Audience participation.
  5. Something the audience needs to hear
  6. Humor heals
  7. Allow the audience to loosen up and have a good time
  8. Audience engagement
  9. Inspires and empowers the audience
  10. Gives them the tools they need
  11. Helps them to read the audience when they are speaking

Tina will teach some of the elements to using your own brand or sense of humor and speaking to engage the audience.

 

Abundant Harvest

Autumn Harvest | God’s beautiful abundant harvest makes me think that God saved us from death. In this episode, we will discuss God’s mercy and his endless forgiveness for our sins. #podcast #christianpodcastAutumn Harvest God Saved Us From Death  113

God’s beautiful abundant harvest makes me think that God saved us from death. In this episode, we will discuss God’s mercy and his endless forgiveness for our sins.

Thanks to our sponsor: Media Angels.com and Felice Gerwitz on Amazon

When we think of the harvest we think of all the beauty of the leaves, the produce, the fruit. But the harvest means that the leaves have died. The fruit has matured and will not live but be eaten and really while it is beautiful and fulfilling to us – sometimes we don’t realize the sacrifice that happens for us the saving power of God.

God is rich in mercy, we hear this over and over again. By grace, we are saved (SCRIPTURE). In his ultimate mercy God died for us and raised from the dead to leave this world for His true home and ours. Heaven. Read Ephesians 2:8-10

For by grace we are saved through faith – and not from us but from the gift that God gave us – not from works so we might boast but by the handiwork created by God! Lord uses us to plant seeds – but He is the one who harvests.

What does abundant harvest mean to us?

Joy – love – excitement – gifts from God! How can we not shout from the windows of our cars as we are driving by in excitement? Friends we have been adopted into a family of God, during this time of abundant harvest we can look at a world that is in dire need of a Savior a world that is hurting, that is divided were just wearing a hat can set people on edge. Our world needs healing! God saved us from death!

Colossians in a letter to St. Paul – … Spiritual Fullness in Christ  — Colossians 6:-9

We do not need to fear – the battle is not ours to fight. This time of harvest reminds us of this that in death there is the resurrection.

When is the last time you read the Psalms? Listen to Psalm 145 – Read all of it and meditate on the words.

So during this time of harvest let’s keep our eyes upon the Lord and remember his compassion for us – that he is trustworthy in his promises and faithful and he will uphold us – all of us who fall. Let’s pray.

Lord, thank you for this time of harvest and for the beauty of the world you created. Thank you for looking upon me kindly even in the times when what I do is not pleasing to you. I pray for all those ordained that they follow your holy will for their lives and please bring any stray sheep back to the fold. Thank you for your compassion, your promises and for the splendor of your kingdom, I have so much to look forward to. As I continue to live my life allow me to see your kingdom, to see your compassion to see your promises and I ask Lord that you hear the prayers I pray now …And, I pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

Mega Planning

Holiday Planning | Ready to get your life organized, it is time for mega planning. It is a season of joy, no matter what time of the year, but more so near the holidays. With this season comes stress! One of the best ways to relieve stress is to plan...| #podcast #christianpodcast #holidayplanningSeason of Joy! Mega Planning ~ Episode 24

Ready to get your life organized, it is time for mega planning. It is a season of joy, no matter what time of the year, but more so near the holidays. With this season comes stress! One of the best ways to relieve stress is to plan and get ahead of your busy schedule. In this episode, we will look at to organize your time so you have more time for your family.

Thanks to our sponsor —

We can not get back the time we do not spend with our kids. If we have the cleanest home or the best meals and find we are not spending time with our kids then the question to ask yourself is what is more important. Let’s begin with those questions first:

  1. I am a planner? Yes or No?
  2. I have a daily check-off list and prepare it the night before.
  3. At the end of the day, I am happiest when_________.
  4. If I do not complete this one task I feel like I have not accomplished much _________.
  5. I put my husband and kids first: A. All the time   B. Most of the time. C. After I finish my to-do list. D. Sadly I don’t.

Look over those questions and think about it. I don’t believe anyone purposely neglects their family to have a clean house or get the laundry done, but I have been guilty of allowing the kids to watch a movie so that I could get things completed when they were younger. My kids never took the long naps other moms talked about, and often I would clean up and they would proceed to mess up the house again. So, how do you stay ahead?

With prayer. Prayer is the one force in my life that I can say has kept me solidly balanced. It is the one thing that is first on my to-do list, especially now that my kids are older. However, in this simple planner, I want to share with you that I created, you will find you can easily organize your life with one sheet of paper.

I like to see a year at a glance.  Mega planning begins with an overview. What dates can you fill-in?

  1. Birthdays
  2. Major holidays – will you plan to take time off?
  3. Special days such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, etc.
  4. Vacations or Family Plans such as family reunions, anniversaries, etc.
  5. School dates and vacations

You can do this online in a free calendar that is provided by Gmail – or perhaps on your phone – or better yet, synch the too.

Once you have an overview of your year you can look at each month. My printed calendar is a month at a glance. I first look at a monthly planner and place all of the important dates on the calendar.

Place the following on your calendar:

  1. Church and events.
  2. Any dates for appointments that are upcoming.
  3. Kids schedule – any events, sports, lessons
  4. Date night (yes! plan it even if it is at home)
  5. Household

Four Square Planner – Mega Planning Fine Tuned:

Once you get your overview laid out you can begin fine-tuning the day. One of the quickest ways to do this is with the Four Square Planner. I love to take a piece of paper and divide it in four.  Faith | Kids | School | Household

Take each one of these to quickly make plans for the day.

  1. Faith: Under faith, list ways that you pray, read the Bible, go to church, etc.
  2. Kids: Under kids list things they have to do that day. Chores, lessons, etc.
  3. School: Times, what needs to be done?
  4. Household: Groceries, meals, cleaning, shopping?

Here is a sample and a blank to give you an idea of how to use it: 4-Square-Planner-MediaAngelsInc.

You can add to your main 4-square planner day to day if you do not have many things going on or actually use one for each day. It is the way I plan birthday parties, kids sporting events, the podcasts I record, and more! It is also the way I plan my mega shopping or mega cooking days. I consolidate to a date and time so that I am not overwhelmed.

If you can do this your life will be so much easier! It puts your to-do list in priorities. In fact, one of my friends calls this the priority planner! It is wonderful and so helpful. It is the way I keep my life organized. I hope it helps you in your life as well!

Successful Blogging and Marketing Meet Jimmie Quick

Successful Blogging and Marketing | Do you want successful blogging and marketing advice? In this episode, we take a look at what it takes to be a success in regard to your online presence with a featured conference speaker, Jimmie Quick, and Felice Gerwitz | #podcast #wahm #blogging #christianpodcastSuccess Blogging & Marketing with Felice Gerwitz and Jimmie Quick Episode 17

Do you want successful blogging and marketing advice? In this episode, we take a look at what it takes to be a success in regard to your online presence with a featured conference speaker, Jimmie Quick, and Felice Gerwitz

Thanks to our sponsor — The Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference 

Jimmie Quick began as a blogger. She was a stay-at-home mom who was homeschooling my daughter. She was living abroad and serving as a missionary in Asia. She had just started blogging and over time it grew and grew and grew. When her daughter was in high school  pretty much an independent learner, I was making a full-time income, working full time from home, doing marketing in the homeschool niche. She is very thankful for being able to work at home and help companies that I really believe in. I believe

Here are Jimmie Quick’s Featured Conference Topics.

Successful Blogging and Marketing Begins with a Blog

Jimmie shares that so many people that begin to share their message with the world start with blogging because it is a low cost platform.

  1. It’s a great way to extend your reach.
  2. It’s for people who love to write and would like to do it daily
  3. Even if you have begin small there is always room for improvement.
  4. Blogging allows you to have an audience.
  5. It can begin with your life experiences.
  6. Remember to connect with your audience.

Marketing:

  1. The language of blogging is also what slows people down.
  2. Understand the anatomy of a perfect blog.
  3. Understand SEO (search engine optimization)
  4. It is important to understand social media. The key ones for bloggers are Pinterest, Facebook and other social media platforms.
  5. Learn how to use email marketing.
  6. Keep an editorial calendar.
  7. Weekly posting is the minimum for a blog.
  8. Outline with purpose. Not just random ideas but a deliberate plan based upon keywords that you want to be found for in a search.

 

The Power of Email Marketing

Email marketing is important and Jimmie will discuss leveraging the power of email marketing.

  1. Get a vision for building and then nurturing a list and then what to do with those people.
  2. The secret sauce of this talk is going to be auto-responders. Some people call them drip campaigns.
  3. The importance of follow-up
  4. A subscriber is like “milk” not “yogurt.”

It takes a mind shift that a lot of people, especially Christians really struggle with because they don’t want to appear pushy. They don’t want to be salesy, but yet they have a business, they want to sell something, they want to reach the world with their message and they know that the worker is worthy of his wages and they want to get paid for this thing, but they are afraid to ask for money. They’re afraid to put a price on it. And, and the, so it’s really these issues about money and value and being pushy and being salesy. So we’re going to really delve into that and see why. If you have a message that you need to be, you need to push through your fear of being, pushing it, pushy and you need to get it out there. You are not harming people or offending them.

It is a mind shift and I think you know, once you grabbed onto these principles and you really absorb them and then you just start looking at your ministry slash business through these lenses everything becomes clear, the path becomes clear and you understand, ah, this is what I need to do next. And hopefully, that’s what all of the attendees at this convention conference are going to leave with. You know, a clear vision of these are the next steps I need to take.

 

Salvation History & You

Salvation History | Have we considered salvation history in the light of not only what Jesus did for humanity but what Jesus did directly for us? In this episode, we will learn how to apply this to our lives and others. | #podcast #christianpodcast #salvationhistorySalvation History and You Episode 112

Have we considered salvation history in the light of not only what Jesus did for humanity but what Jesus did directly for us? In this episode, we will learn how to apply this to our lives and others.

Thanks to our sponsor: Media Angels.com and Felice Gerwitz on Amazon

The Bible consists of the Old and the New Testament. The first book of the Bible begins in Genesis and ends in Revelations. It is the behind the scenes look at the new heaven and the new earth and at the apex or the center is Christ. This is a story of love – the greatest love of all, the love of God for a humanity that He created, that is fallen. It is the story of God’s promise before Jesus came and about Jesus fulfilling the promise by his life, his death, and His ultimate Resurrection.

Simply put, the salvation of history is the storyline of the beginning of time, the creation of man and the redemption by God. The Bible is this intricate puzzle with many books that seem to be unrelated yet overall paint this amazing picture of our history and God.
When we read the Bible we get a glimpse into the lives of the saints that lived before us, the tragedy and the triumph. It really happened. It isn’t an allegory, a theory or a fluff piece. It is real.

Before God created the world He existed. The Father. The Son. The Spirit. For us it is difficult to imagine an always was – always is and always will be because we are finite people.
And before

History is His – Story, the story of a God who was not made, not created, but who always was and will always be. This amazing creator God wanted to enjoy the universe he created with us. He began our story with our first parents, Adam and Eve.

Before the fall we read a wonderful, idyllic story of our ancestors that lived in this beautiful garden with everything they wanted or needed provided. This was how God planned it. No toil, no sin, no problems.

God created the angels before our first parents – and we learn about their sin in Revelations:

And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: and they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Apocalypse 12:7-9)

We know the story, our first parents sinned and were banned from the garden, from that idyllic place because they were tempted by the devil or Satan. The punishment from God to the enemy was swift yet he did not find mercy from God, but man did. Read 2 Peter 2:4

We do not know the mind of God – from paradise on earth, our parents were condemned. The need for a Savior was born.  Read Genesis 3:15. Then the trouble began and continued throughout history to this present moment and we still need a Savior!

God has not deserted us – God is active in our lives, each and every day. It is the mission of you, of me, of the CHurch to
The history of salvation leads us to be disciples, and bring others the gospel message.

We must understand the beginning to realize the end.

Salvation history forces us to look at the actions of those who went before us, the story of God’s people from God’s point of view. God’s word tells us all about the way he time and again saved the people who cried out to Him.  Do we cry out to God for saving? And if we do, how do we apply what we know not only to our lives but the lives of others? Are we a witness not by word, but by deed? If not we should be.

Let’s pray:

Dear God Almighty the Creator of Heaven and Earth, we thank you for sharing the story of how the world came to be and the history of your people through your point of view. I thank you, God, for giving us this world in which to live, for our family, for our friends, and for those who we will meet in the future. Let us be an example of your kindness, your love, your peace, and your joy. Let us learn from the holy men and women who went before us as well as those who turned their backs on you. Please keep us free from the temptations of the evil one and keep us in your holy mantle of protection. Dear God Almighty we pray for the following:  …  Please hear our prayers and grant them if they are in your Divine Will. I praise you for all you have done in my life and I thank you until I draw my last breath. And, I pray this in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

 

 

 

Conference Speaker Meet Meredith Curtis

Conference Speaker | Meredith Curtis attended a conference where I was a featured conference speaker. She had dreams of becoming a published author! Fast forward many years later and not only did Meredith realize her dream, but she also is a speaker herself! | #podcast #christianpodcast #becomeaspeakerConference Speaker – Meet Meredith Curtis Episode 16

Meredith Curtis attended a conference where I was a featured conference speaker. She had dreams of becoming a published author! Fast forward many years later and not only did Meredith realize her dream, but she also is a speaker herself!  In this episode learn what it takes to become a speaker!

Thanks to our sponsor the Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference – visit the website here.

Many authors would love to be a conference speaker. How does an organizer select the best speakers? It is a matter of the needs of the conference but also the information the speaker submits. If you want to attend an amazing conference sure to bring your business to the next level, listen to this show.

Meredith attended a conference seminar on writing and publishing. Her daughters brought her by my booth to introduce me to her and she purchased my book. She was so excited about writing her own curriculum that she used for her own children and others. The talk inspired her to begin her own company, Powerline Productions and print her own books! Not only that–but she hosted her own Finish Well Conferences for teens for years in her area.

When I was planning my Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference I asked several people I knew to submit talks they would like to present, and Meredith’s ideas really resonated with me.

Conference Speaker Sessions: Here are Meredith’s Sessions

  1. Prepare Your Heart to Run A Business: The first is as a believer in Jesus, she wants to do it for His glory, and it all begins with what does the Bible says about running a business. The Bible has so much to say about serving others, managing money and even investing, which really is what a business is investing for profit. I talk about how we applied Biblical wisdom to our business and also how we do that in our home. Because our home, is not a country club or an organization, it’s home.
  2. God’s Wisdom For Running A Business: Meredith ended up writing a book on Economics  to teach others about the economic cycle, and understand when to expand your business, grow it and thrive. And then there are times when the economy slows so you need to pull back, and your sales may go down. Things become more difficult and you can use that to your advantage to streamline, to cut waste and trim excess until you are ready to start expanding again. This allows you to save money for even more growth.
  3. Running A Business Debt Free: The Bible says do not despise the day of small beginnings. And I think that’s an important principle when you’re thinking about starting a business because you just start with what you have and what you can afford to spend. One of the principles is to put aside money for your next expenses and you have to think longterm instead of short term. Meredith will be sharing the seven keys to running a business debt-free at the Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference. 

Meredith and her worship team will be playing live during the conference and be on hand to pray for the attendees–if anyone would like prayers.

This conference is happening because we want to support you and your calling, whether it is to write a book, speak at a conference, have your own podcast, be a consultant or coach for others or travel the world in ministry. Whatever that is, we are here! All are welcome!

 

 

Faith Journey

Faith Journey | Each of us comes from a different place in our walk with God, but our faith journey typically has some of the same factors. In this episode, we discuss ways to grow in faith. | #podcast #christianpodcast #faithFaith Journey Episode 111

Each of us comes from a different place in our walk with God, but our faith journey typically has some of the same factors. In this episode, we discuss ways to grow in faith.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, and the books and here on Amazon.

Do you have a favorite book? A favorite chair? A favorite television program? What about a favorite song? If you think about it, I’m sure you could answer every single question, but if I asked you the same thing five years ago, the answers might be different. Our solutions change as we change. And, so it is with our faith. Our faith can grow, especially at the beginning when we are excited to learn everything we can, we can’t wait to read the Bible and soak up the Word of God, we love to pray, and we find many of our prayers are answered. It is a time when everything seems glorious, and it is often called the honeymoon period, because similar to a young marriage, everything is bright, new, wonderful, and we are in love! We are in love with Jesus.

Has your relationship with the Lord gotten comfortable? Is it like a favorite recliner or chair? It molds and fits you, but it isn’t the same as when it was new? If we do not work on our relationship even with the Lord, it can stagnate and even in some cases, slide and go backward. We hear of people who lose their faith or their way, and some we might know that we’re on fire for the Lord. Maybe they were preachers or wrote books or even were pretty famous. What happened to them? What made them go from hot to cold?

Yes, life happens, but I believe the same way we nurture a relationship with people we love, we must nurture our relationship with the Lord. So, here are some questions I want you to ask yourself.

  1. Do you become excited when considering reading the Bible, or is it something you do to check off the daily list?
  2. Same question about prayer… excited or just a check in a box?
  3. Same question about quiet time before the Lord.
  4. Same question about attending church.
  5. Same question about your relationship with God.

How do you grow in the Lord without it looking like a to-do list that is done each day out of obligation? Ahh… here it is the real question. The real question is do you know Jesus? Do you know Him? Who is He? Who does He say that He is? If we know Jesus as He knows himself to be (as my pastor says) and love Jesus as He knows Himself to be, then we can’t help but grow in the Lord.

The reality is that life happens, and we get busy, sidetracked, and find that we are spinning our wheels when it comes to faith. Sure, maybe you are well-meaning — I know I am, but I have to admit that I do have a little bit of that “check-off-the-box” mentality. I’m super happy if I make it to Mass each day if I pray on the way and stay in church a little while after to pray some more if I think about God in the car on the way home or play some praise and worship music. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. God knows our hearts!

Today I was joyous. I mean giddy, exicted happy…joyous! And I asked God why. “Why Lord am I feeling so happy?” and I felt the answer was …”No reason, because I love you.”

Friends, we don’t do any of these things for God – we do them for ourselves to grow in our love for the Lord. If you are taking a step, even if it is a tiny step in the direction toward God, that is great! It is wonderful! It is the ideal for you today. Remember, guilt is not from the Lord. It is from the enemy that wants to keep us down.

Does this mean you don’t have to learn, spend time with God, read the Bible, listen to spiritual and uplifting music that praises God? No – of course, you can, but you don’t have to! Your faith journey is unique to you! Your faith journey is your relationship with God. Your faith journey is learning and growing and spending time with the Almighty, the King of Heaven and Earth, the King of Kings the Lord of Lords! Who doesn’t want to know more about Him? Who doesn’t want to shout “Jesus Reigns” from the car as we drive by unsuspecting motorists? Yeah, okay – that may be a bit weird, but you get my point.

If you search for the word “faith journey” in any Bible app nothing is going to come up. It is not in Scripture. But, if you search for faith -it shows up 378 times and, the verse that speaks to me is Hebrews 11.

Hebrews 11:1-8 … Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen…(use your Bibles to read more, or go here).

Friends, our journey toward God can be steady and slow, as long as we are moving forward. It is in those times when we pause or outright stop that the enemy can and does attack us. It is in those times that we feel despair and cry out to God, “Do you even hear me?” … yet, I assure you He does. He is here with arms open willing us to walk toward him.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank-you for the gift of faith for it truly is a gift. Please allow us to have the faith of Noah, who built an ark because you commanded it, and the faith of Moses who lead the chosen people out of Egypt, and the faith of all the holy men and women who have gone on before us. Dear Father, give us the faith of the thief on the cross who knew He was a sinner and unworthy of the kingdom, but asked anyway. Please help us in our faith journey to walk ever closer to you, be beside me, Lord for those times I falter and fall. Be beside me, Lord, for those times that I do not know what to say to those who hurt me. Be beside me, Lord and, help me to put one foot in front of the other and continue walking, praying, studying, and listening … please, Lord, hear the prayer I ask for this day… let me grow ever closer to you, and I pray this in Jesus’s Name. Amen.

Season of Hope

Season of Hope | Five Sure Fire Ways To Avoid Stress | We are approaching a season of hope! Here are five things to really help you to reduce the stress, make a quick plan and get rid of those things that cause you to feel overwhelmed. Get ready to enjoy any season, with these five easy to answer questions. | #podcast #holidaystress #holidayplanning #christianpodcastSeason of Hope Episode 23

We are approaching a season of hope! Here are five things to really help you to reduce the stress, make a quick plan and get rid of those things that cause you to feel overwhelmed. Get ready to enjoy any season, with these five easy to answer questions.

I was never a big planner until I got older, and the reason was self-preservation. I would just plain forget if I did not plan things out. The older my children were the more planning that was necessary, in fact during the phase of sports we had a shared digital calendar so we could plan family events around their sports schedule. Sound familiar? Maybe you kids don’t play sports but have other lessons to attend, and once again the family is pushed in this direction or that.

Then, when you turn the calendar there is a collective gasp as you realize we are in the countdown mode – the countdown to Thanksgiving or Christmas. So, then what happens? Panic.

We can choose to be joyful, but that is harder to do when we are up to our eyeballs in meals, laundry, and kids. We can play praise and worship music (that always makes me happy) – or we can just pray our way through the day.

I have some experience at parenting…my oldest was born in 1980, and I have five kids. So, if you do the math I will be logging in 40 years of parenting and still going as of 2020! So, in my experience, I have learned to examine my stress factors that take away my hope and my peace.

Ways To Combat Holiday Stress! Remember this is the Season of Hope!

  1. What is making me stressed – write these down.
  2. What things on my list can I cross out?
  3. What things on my list can I delegate?
  4. What things on my list can I do today?
  5. What things on my list can I do – and here is the date/due by.

Do I have a plan? The next podcast will be about planning and how you can make any holiday, event, and schedule in a way that is manageable.

Recently I saw a preview of the upcoming Mr. Rogers movie – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and I cannot share details but let me say it is a life-changing movie. I will share more about things I learned (without any spoiler alerts) in upcoming episodes as well – so be sure you subscribe to this podcast to receive new shows.

Through the struggles of the characters, we learned nuggets about life. And, truthfully our hope is not in the things of this world – our hope is in the things that truly matter.

List those – what are those things that truly matter to you? Take a few minutes to do this now, or plan a time later this evening before bed, or when you wake up in the morning or at lunchtime… but do it!

For each one of us, those things look different depending on our station in life! I remember as a young mom thinking that just a few minutes of quiet, or getting the laundry washed, folded and put away in one day was important. Now that my kids are grown, the house is quiet and you guessed it – I can do many loads of laundry in one day and get it put away! Those things are no longer important.

Upcoming is a season of hope – Thanksgiving is coming, then Christmas. It is a time of fall harvest, going to visit a pumpkin patch, enjoying fall leaves (think of me when you do it is the only thing I miss about living up north), or sipping apple cider, or hot chocolate while bundled in a blanket watching a campfire. These things are special, the upcoming celebration of the birth of Christ is special – these things bring us joy they bring us hope and they lift up our faith.

Friends, be sure to look at this season of hope and take the time to stop and enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of the season. Take time with your family, snuggle up with a good book, and be sure to tell those you love how thankful you are of them!

Next week mega planning! Be ready.

 

God’s Timing

God's Timing | God's timing is perfect, this is something we hear about all the time but in reality, when we ask something in prayer we often expect immediate results. In this podcast, we discuss how our time is so different to God's time and ways to let go! | #podcast #christianpodcastGod’s Timing – Episode 110

God’s timing is perfect, this is something we hear about all the time but in reality, when we ask something in prayer we often expect immediate results. In this podcast, we discuss how our time is so different from God’s time and ways to let go!

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child. You can find more information about both titles on Media Angels or Amazon.

We are a society of immediate gratification. We don’t have to haul our water in from the well or farm our own food or any of the things that in the not so recent past our ancestors had to do. My own parents had a garden, and I grow herbs – okay, not quite the same thing, but I buy a plant and plant it – I don’t even use a seed!

So why does it surprise us that when we pray to God we want instant answers? God’s timing is not our timing and His timing is perfect! Yet we lack patience, faith, hope, and we become anxious! How does this happen?

There is a reason our prayers do not have an instant answer. What is it – I don’t know. I’m sure the reason is different for each one of us. Our job is to keep focused, continue to pray and to read your Bible! Stay grounded in God’s Word.

When we become anxious and stressed over God’s timing it is usually because we want the Lord to answer a prayer about a difficult situation or perhaps we are ill and want to be healed. Believe me, I get it!

Does God not know about your situation? Does he not understand. Of course, he does.

Psalm 18: 20 As for God, His way is blameless.

Psalm 31:14-15

We must surrender our needs to him, and we can learn through the waiting. Sometimes the lessons we learn are so much more effective in growing our faith!

Jesus Stills the Sea  —  Mark 4:35-41

Can you imagine what the apostles learned from the calming of the sea? I have a picture in my living room to the right of the TV that depicts this Scripture verse. It is a reminder to wait on Him – on His timing.

And, I want to leave you with a thought. As we are waiting for the perfect timing for the answer to our prayers, please let’s not forget to be thankful in all the prayers He has answered. Take out your praise and thanksgiving journal and write in it — go back and read it, see? He has answered prayers in His perfect time.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Your timing is perfect. I know that you have everything in the palm of your hand. That you know the time and place of everything that we worry and stress about, and I ask that you help to let to go and let God into my life in a deeper way. Thank you for fulfilling all of my needs. Thank you for giving me my daily bread. Thank you for giving me the very things I need, just when I need them. You are the God of perfection and I ask you to allow me to rest in You. Thank you for providing for all I pray for today … I know you have the perfect time to answer all of these prayers, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Attending Conferences

Conferences | With so much information online should you attend an "in person" conferences? In this episode, Felice Gerwitz shares how a recent and past conferences have taught her so much she can implement today. | #podcast #writingandpublishing #conferencesFive Tips For Getting The Most Our of Attending Conferences – Episode 13

With so much information online should you attend an “in-person” conferences? In this episode, Felice Gerwitz shares how a recent and past conferences have taught her so much she can implement today.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels host of the Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference.

I’ve attended many conferences in my life, upwards of fifty, and at some of these, I was a featured speaker. However, in all of that time, I realized, when I was an attendee that I didn’t have a working plan of what I expected to get out of the conference. How many of you have attended a conference or even a meeting and didn’t even have paper? Maybe you thought it would be provided, maybe you thought you could borrow some, yet do you realize that is a subliminal message (to yourself) that you are not there to learn.

Are you teachable? I’ve met some people that are smart intellectually and think they can figure it out or have all the information they need, perhaps you’ve met people who do not take feedback to heart.

Just this week I attended a conference and truthfully I wasn’t attending it to learn, but to meet people and to see how this conference was run. And, I left pleasantly surprised. First, let me back up – I am pretty teachable. I love to learn and I am what I call a perpetual student. I read science abstracts if I want to learn something about a particular discovery or a study that was done, I interview people who are knowledgable in an area I think my listeners could benefit, and I am … well, a student.

So, while I wasn’t attending *not* to learn, I started off the morning sessions with a small notepad I keep in my person instead of my laptop or spiral notebook I had in the car. I listened and it wasn’t until about forty-five minutes into the sessions that I started to take notes – jotting down ideas, shaking my head and agreeing or being sparked to think of something to do later – an action point. I did go to the car after the lunch break to get my notebook to take notes. If you haven’t listened to my podcast on making connections listen to this here.

And, that is what I want to talk to you about today, how to attend a conference, a meeting or even a webinar and get the most out of it! The conference I attended was particularly for speakers but it extended to people in business, sales-people, real-estate, authors, investors, etc. One of the comments on the website before attending was to dress your best (the mantra: “dress for success”) and I decided on a lace top with one of my nicest pair of linen pants, matching purse, pearls and other jewelry. Understated but elegant. As expected, some people were in business suits, others looked nice but not dressed up. But, this request to dress up set the tone that this was serious and worthwhile.

Here are Five Tips to getting the most out of conferences.

  1. Plan to be dressed up, not over-the-top — but professional – for yourself and your mindset/ outlook more so than for others. (tell about the lady with red hair)
  2. Plan to take notes – if you have this mindset you are planning to learn. After the conference type up the notes, review action points and plan when you will implement these things.
  3. Make action points. As you take notes think about some things you can implement, even if not in the immediate future. (Box)
  4. Bring business cards. This is a must. Try to meet as many new people as possible and get their cards as well. Or, have a pad and ask for their name and email – keep in contact.
  5. Meet the organizers, thank them and be sure to complement when warranted.

One other thought – not necessarily in my top five. I am an impulse buyer. I know this about myself. I decided before attending that I would not purchase anything. Not a book, not a class on DVD and not a private consultation or even learning retreat. That doesn’t mean I won’t do this in the future, just not right now. Why? Because of my time constraints. I know myself and I know when I can and can not do one more thing. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go with an idea of buying. It just means to know before you attend what you plan to do!

Some of my action plans after attending this and other conferences:

  1. Create a how-to-podcast self-paced class.
  2. Create an ebook that I will first sell, and then give away as a freebie on my website.
  3. Create several marketing videos for my upcoming Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference

So, friends, I hope this has inspired you to really listen and be ready to learn when you attend a conference, webinar or even, perhaps listening to an inspiring podcast that to get the most you need to have an attitude of learning!

 

 

 

Christian Hope

Christian Hope | What is the difference between hope and Christian hope? Do we hope in what we want, or do we hope in God's will for our life? We explore this theme today. | #podcast #christianpodcastChristian Hope – Episode 109

What is the difference between hope and Christian hope? Do we hope in what we want, or do we hope in God’s will for our life? We explore this theme today.

Hope in Christ – it is already accomplished – God’s will has been done, it is finished. So we can go on with our lives and not worry about anything. Don’t you wish it were that easy?

Our hope is that our “will be done” that God answers our prayers the way we want our outcome to be. Just think about this – it is humbling. We “hope” things go our way.

The Garden of Gethsemane – Matthew 26:36-46

How do we hope in a seemingly hopeless world? How do we hope when we are depressed – lonely – or feel abandoned?

Some pastors teach that if we pray it – believe it – it will come. And if the prayers are not answered, we then lose hope and think the Lord has abandoned us!

Christian Hope – is different. While we hope for the Lord’s will in my life – yet not as I will, but as You will.”  We still hope for the best possible outcome.

As I record this it is 9-11 and it is a horrific time in American history when we had a terrorist attack on American soil. As I listened to reports of what was expected in the death toll from the Twin Towers, the estimates for 14-15K because of the number of people believed to be in the building.

One death is too many, but the numbers were way, way less than was predicted. We read so many miracle stories. We see the hand of God, we see that even those who went to rescue the fallen were never the same.

Yet we continue to believe. We continue to hope.

We read in Psalm 121. 

Romans 8:24-25

We don’t know the answers, but … we read in Isaiah 38:18 New International Version (NIV)

For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness.

Yet then we read in Lamentations 3:17-20 New International Version (NIV)

Romans 8:23-30

Christian hope is when we read about what God has promised within the pages of the Bible—within the knowledge that God is never changing, within the trust that God never lies—His word is inspired, true and without error.

1 Peter 1:13-16

Let’s Pray!

Lord thank you for Christian hope and the knowledge that when we trust in you our trust is secure, we are confident you hear our prayers and you will answer them according to Your will for our lives. We know we will mess up and only you are holy and worthy of every good thing, yet we love you Lord and we do hope in you. where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth and I am glad and praise Your Name for this promise. Dear Lord, please hear the prayers we ask now and those in our hearts… and I pray this in the hope that is in Christ. Amen.

OverStimulated Christians

Overstimulated Christians | Christian information is everywhere, on our phones, on television and the radio and we become overstimulated Christians! In this episode, we will look at our relationship with God | #podcast #christianpodcastOverstimulated Christians – Episode 108

Christian information is everywhere, on our phones, on television and the radio and we become overstimulated Christians! In this episode, we will look at our relationship with God, and how to in doing things to get closer we sometimes end up being further away.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child. You can find more information about both titles on Media Angels or Amazon.

We get information everywhere, everyone has a blog, a book, a podcast. In addition each day:

  1. We have our devotions
  2. Our prayers
  3. Our prayer books
  4. We pray at church

Do we do the right things but do they feed our soul? Think about that? This thought hit me hard. Each morning I like to go to Mass if I can and on the way there, I will pray, then at church I pray, then after church on the way home I will pray. Sometimes I listen to praise and worship music, which really does bring me joy. And, by the time I get home around 8:30 I feel pretty good, but am I feeling good because I’ve spent time with God or because of what I did?

Many times we do things to check them off the list. Not consciously – I do them because I want to spend time with God, but at times I do think I’m heading at least on the right path. However, it is always good to look at our motives.

But the question is are you doing your “devotions” or are you “devoted to God?”

  1. Spend time in the Word but meditate on the words.
  2. God talks to us in The Bible
  3. God’s word is a two-edged sword

Hebrews 4:12 [Full Chapter]
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Psalm 149:6 May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands,

We can do a quick check on our motivation for learning and filling our lives with good things, but maybe not the best things God has for us.

  1. How do you feel after praying? Are you elated or stressed because you’ve put other important things off. If you are elated – good, right path if you are stressed… look at your motivation.
  2. Do you pray because you want to spend time with God or because you feel you have to?
  3. Spend a few minutes analyzing your motivation.

This was a wake-up call to me – I tend to get over-committed and oversaturated in trying to learn all that I can, and sometimes the quiet, the time listening to God or being still in His presence is more than I can hope for! It is what fills me and brings me joy. Joy is a decision sometimes – it is a commitment to live out our lives praising the One who created us.

We can be overcommitted even by spending too much time with friends, having to fill our days with chatter and noise with things that are not important in the grand scheme of things! Our hearts should belong to the Lord. And our time is His as well.

Let’s pray.

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you that you open my eyes each and every day to the times I become overstimulated and overcommitted. I ask you to bring me the peace, the love and the joy that I crave. Dear Lord still my soul, allow me to feel the peace that surpasses all understanding today. Right now. This very second. Bring me the peace and the joy that I need … and allow it to permeate my life. I ask you Lord for the prayers that I now pray for those near to me or for my own special intentions … Dear Jesus thank you for clearing out the cobwebs of my mind and bringing the light that is You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Interview Tips

Interview Tips | Do you want to be one of those guests that get invited back? Here are some interview tips to help you improve the chances of not only getting invited back but improving your reach with the podcast guests. | #podcast #writing #podcastingInterview Tips To Improve Reach ~ Episode 12

Do you want to be one of those guests that get invited back? Here are some interview tips to help you improve the chances of not only getting invited back but improving your reach with the podcast guests.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels – host of the conference, Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference, a one-of-a-kind in-person mentoring event to help you boost your writing, blogging, coaching or speaking.

Have you listened to a podcast and thought – wow, that guest is great, I want to learn more about them, I want to check out their website, follow them on Instagram or just connect with them? Well, if you have that is the sign of a great guest. A guest is someone who connects with the host and directs the conversation in a way that helps them shine.

Today I’ll share some of my interview tips to help you be a guest that people want to know.

An interview should be informative, teach the listener something and be engaging so that your expertise and personality shine. It shouldn’t be forced, hurried or rushed. It goes without saying that before you accept an interview you should be prepared and have everything you’d like to say in bullet point.

Do you know why you want the interview and what you plan to say? Do you have a list of questions from the host or did you provide them? Do you know if this is an audio, video, or if you need some type of special equipment?

I invite you to listen to the podcast, “Getting An Interview,” for more details on how to get an interview and best practices for that, but here is the list I use to prepare for interviews I’ll give on other podcasts.

I have a question for you. I actually have several questions and this is something that I would like you to think about if you want an interview.

  1. Do I know something about the show host? Have I listened to previous shows?
  2. Did the show host ask me for a topic? Is the topic I gave something that I feel passionate about and can use it to my advantage to show my expertise?
  3. If the show-host asked for a specific topic outside of my area of expertise, can I make it work, do I know enough to sound informative?
  4. Did I ask for a set of questions? If not, did I provide these questions?
  5. Do I know if I need special equipment (good headset or microphone) if it is on the computer? If it is call-in only, do I have a clear connection and good cell or land-line service?
  6. Do I have the number or website link? Do I have the software needed on my computer?
  7. Did you send a headshot or logo, and your bio?
  8. Do I have a call to action to the guests? Something that encourages them to connect with me. (Examples are given on the audio.)
  9. Do I have a book, blog or website and a link or landing page to send the listeners?

To be a guest you need to think quickly if the host throws you a question you don’t know. If it is something you can not answer here are some options that work:

  1. Thanks for that question, but truthfully it is outside of my area of expertise.
  2. I appreciate you asking, and I can email you those website links after this interview so that you can have it available for the listeners.
  3. That is a great question, and if your listeners connect with me on______ (Your website, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) I can share the answer there.

Any of these gracious replies will work!

What if the host says something negative and you disagree? (I’ve had this happen with a guest.)

  1. Interrupt as soon as you can to clarify your position.
  2. If it is not egregious, let it go.
  3. Correct the host kindly. Something like, “In my experience, I’ve found…” or “I can only respond to that statement based upon my own experience…”
  4. OR if you are the host – like I was, I edited that section out! (Explain some faux-pas from recent guests!)

One thing that a good guest will do that endears me quickly is to answer emails promptly. Sure, over the weekend may have a delayed response, but typically if a host asks for a headshot, a bio or other pertinent information and you lag behind getting it to them, it can make you appear unorganized.

That’s it! You are on your way to being a great guest using some or all of these interviewing tips! If you have something that would pertain to this particular podcast, reach out and contact me.

 

 

Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative Parenting | It's not easy to parent today, because there is a blog, a tv show or your neighbor, relative or best friend who knows of a better way. In this episode, we cut through the fluff and talk about the importance of being the parent in this time of anything goes. | #podcast #christianpodcastAuthoritative Parenting ~ Episode 22

I first heard the term, “authoritative parenting” when glancing at an article and seeing that it fit pretty closely to my parenting style. It’s not easy to parent today, because there is a blog, a tv show or your neighbor, relative or best friend who knows of a better way. In this episode, we cut through the fluff and talk about the importance of being the parent in this time of anything goes.

Thanks to our sponsor – Media Angels, Inc. visit the website for One More Child

Parenting takes time, parenting takes commitment and parenting takes backbone, but it also takes heart. Our children are precious and I believe on loan to us from the amazing Creator God! Little children tend to look up to their parents, and love unconditionally so what happens when they grow-up?

I always say that God knew what He was doing when He created teenagers, don’t get me wrong, I loved all of the teen years, but sometimes I felt like when the time came for them to leave, I’d help them pack! When your children are young you or they may have separation anxiety, our little ones want to be with us, close to us and that is normal, that is good. But all of our parenting stems around the ability to use our love for our children in a way that is healthy for now and the future.

I’ve heard friends say things like, “It’s a good thing that child number one was so easy going because if I had child number two first, I might have only had one kid!” (And that child was standing within hearing range.) Friends your kids are sponges they have eyes and ears everywhere, just like they can’t often pull one over us they same goes for them! If you are talking about a baby, then maybe the toddler is listening.

Being an authoritative parent doesn’t mean being overly strict but it also doesn’t mean being permissive. Being a parent means following through and I believe each one of us has an area we need to work on, the latter was always my area of struggle. I was what was called a threatening-repeating-parent. Do this now… if you don’t do this now you are going to be in trouble … do it RIGHT now, or else… you get the picture. If I had given instruction and gotten up when the instruction was not followed with some sort of punishment I can guarantee I would not have to repeat myself next time. Sure, it sometimes takes practice with a little one, my husband says that kids are gamblers, they gamble you won’t follow through!

Here are some tips of what I believe fits an authoritative parenting style:

  1. You are strict, but you are flexible. It isn’t my way or the highway – but it is, this is how we are going to do things in our family.
  2. Our kids know what we want them to do, there is no guessing. Bedtime is at 8, we brush our teeth first, get a drink of water, say prayers and then off to bed. Or, no snacks before mealtime. Etc.
  3. We hear them when they speak. If they want to input when we are giving instruction, we can ask them to wait until we are finished – but we hear them. What they have to say may not necessarily sway our instructions but we give them a voice. (I would say when a child argued: “Have you ever had me change my mind when you argue with me? (“No. But it should.”) I would just smile and my child would drop it or suffer the consequences.
  4. Our kids know there are consequences. Our kids learned Newton’s third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  In other words, if you mess up you will pay for it in some type of punishment and more than likely you won’t like it. (Corner-Mike)
  5. We don’t say hurtful things. Never character assassination. It is not worth it – the hate word was not permitted even among siblings.
  6. We are fair and just.
  7. We provide emotional support and love. Need to know they can count on us.
  8. We are consistent.
  9. We ask for forgiveness. Even we are wrong.

We do our best, we don’t always get it right, but we do try. Our kids need to know this, that we love them and can trust us to say what we mean and do what we say!

 

Daily Joy

Daily Joy | How do you start the day with daily joy? Some days it is easier than others, but in this podcast, I'll share ways that are helpful and will encourage you to begin with a smile. Shh! It is contagious. | #podcast #christianpodcast How do you start the day with daily joy? Some days it is easier than others, but in this podcast, I’ll share ways that are helpful and will encourage you to begin with a smile. Shh! It is contagious.

Episode 21 – Daily Joy

Thanks to our sponsor, MediaAngels.com – where you can find Christian books and classes.

Family life is hectic to say the least. Especially in families where faith takes a back seat. I’d like to say that faith is the one thing that has sustained, guided and brought me to a point where I see the Lord’s hand in everything.

God is all around us and busy moms and dads can’t see it because, well, they are busy! But here is a quick list for you to begin your day with joy a daily dose of joy… and guess what? It is contagious! Your family with be joyful as well.

How can we begin with a dose of daily joy?

  1. Start off with prayer. We always pray before meals. We prayed before school and we prayed as a family at night. We also prayed a blessing on each of our children.
  2. Song! A joyful and encouraging song can be such a blessing. I can’t tell you how it touched my soul! It is soulful, but it gave me such peace and Joy! Is there a song that makes you joyful? It works, today I listened to Hillsong’s Oceans here.  Lyrics: My faith will keep me stronger in the presence of my Savior… I will call upon your Name. … I am yours, and you are mine.  Just a few words that can only make you smile!
  3. Trust. God’s got this. Why are we worried, concerned, upset? Give it to the Lord.
  4. Still upset. Call a friend, pray with them. If you can pray with your spouse that is the best!
  5. Journal. Tell the Lord what you are thankful for and have all the kids start their own prayer journals. This is wonderful.

Look at what steals your joy. What is it? One thing? A pile-up of things? Don’t let things or business rob your joy. Take a breath, sometimes we all need a time out. While we want to be a good example to our kids, that doesn’t mean we have to be perfect. We can’t be perfect!

If we make mistakes we ask forgiveness and move on. Remember, focus on today.

Joyfulness is a choice. It is a decision to think the best of people to have a positive outlook and to look upon our situation in life with the knowledge that nothing lasts forever. Nothing. I know some of you listening may be ill or have circumstances that would cripple someone less faint of heart. For those of you, I send a virtual hug and know that you are in my prayers. We pray for all of our listeners on this network and another network I run.

This is meant to encourage you that joy is attainable and not to heap guilt upon you if you are not joyful today. That is okay! There are days when I want to crawl back in bed. Today I had to deal with a difficult work situation and all kinds of thoughts went through my head – some not very kind, but ultimately I found the reason for my feeling badly was because I was hurt. I think identifying hurt helped me to deal with it in a nonemotional manner, deal with it, and move beyond it. Do things hurt us, of course, every day. But what we do about it is the ultimate question. Do we sit in the hurt or claim our daily joy?

I for one will claim Joy!

Asking God

Ask God | Thy will be done in heaven as on earth is a form of asking God in prayer to guide our life. But is it that simple? Welcome to A Few Minutes with God, where we delve into the scriptures in a practical way. | #podcast #christianpodcast #askGodAsking God – Episode 107

Thy will be done in heaven as on earth is a form of asking God in prayer to guide our life. But is it that simple? Welcome to A Few Minutes with God, where we delve into the scriptures in a practical way.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child. You can find more information about both titles on Media Angels or Amazon.

So many times we begin the day with our to-do list running in our heads and frantic with all the things we need to do each day. I found myself in this mess in the not too distant past and I finally had to reevaluate my life as I found myself unintentionally clenching the insides of my mouth as I silently stressed over things I could not avoid and had no control over.

As a Christian, I carried on the guilt that I was not living up to the ideal. All Christians are happy they walk with inspiration from the Lord and have a ready smile for all they meet. Sure, that was me on occasion but more times than not I hid behind the discontent. I was frankly too busy.

Well fast-forward to today and I am still extremely busy but guess what, I’ve learned from my past mistakes the biggest one? I forgot to ask God.

  1. I forgot to ask God if I should take then next big project.
  2. I forgot to ask God if I should implement the “great idea” I had about work.
  3. I forgot to ask God about the little things as well as the bigger things.

Friends, you have often heard me say, “Pray about this, or pray about that…” and now I am reminding me and you that this is necessary!

I’m sure I’ve mentioned James 4:3 before, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

Or James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

We all know talkers, and I am one of those, but if we don’t do what we recommend then we are as bad as those who do not believe. Many people want to say that faith is a one time commitment to the Lord and a one time decision, and to some extent it is, but if we do not walk in faith or do the good works that the Lord has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10 -For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.) then we are talking the walk and not walking the talk.

James 4:7-8 is another wonderful example of asking God.

Friends, study James there is so much wisdom in that book as well as all the books in Scripture – it is not only for teaching but for blessing us and bringing the Christian faith to us in a very real way.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, please remind us daily to ask you for our daily bread, our daily needs and to test all things first through you. Dear Lord, we humbly come before you and ask that you use each one of us as you have called us to be lovers of the word and to increase our faith each day. Pour out your blessings upon us and upon those who we now pray … I praise you Jesus for every great thing and I pray this in your blessed Name, Amen!

 

Food From Heaven

Food From Heaven | Are Christian's suffering from malnutrition? Food from heaven is the only food that sustains us in the spiritual sense, but how do we go from hearing the Word to doing what the Word says? In this episode, we will explore these concepts and more. | #podcast #christianpodcast #spiritualfoodFood From Heaven – Episode 106

Are Christian’s suffering from malnutrition? Food from heaven is the only food that sustains us in the spiritual sense, but how do we go from hearing the Word to doing what the Word says? In this episode, we will explore these concepts and more.

Thanks to our Sponsor A Few Minutes with God ~

Please check out my books and products – my other podcast Life

We are fed in many ways – our physical bodies with the food we eat, and how long could we go without food? Sometimes three times a day isn’t enough and we need or crave snacks. We feed our spiritual bodies with faith, the Word of God in the Bible, and listening or reading what others have to say, our pastors, voices out there who are Christian leaders.

But still, we are suffering from spiritual malnutrition we are missing that food from heaven. If I asked you to describe physical hunger you could do that, but what about spiritual hunger?

Ask yourselves these questions:

  1. Have I craved the Word of God?
  2. Do I feel lost without praying?
  3. Do I feel empty if I do not “do” my devotionals?
  4. Do I “do” my devotionals (prayer time, praying, listening to God, studying the Word, etc.) to feel better or because it feeds me?
  5. Do I sometimes feel lost like I am floundering?

These questions are meant to make you think. Not to feel guilty (repeat!)

Let’s listen to the bread of life discourse from the author, Jesus himself. Read John 6:25-59

We don’t lack food from heaven – we don’t lack hearing the Word of God – we hear many different interpretations from pastors, and from those who read the Word in private.

However, if you are a Catholic you believe the bread of life is in the Eucharist which is why it is available at every Mass, every day, and all over the world in every Catholic Church. It is the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and I can tell you that often even Catholics only believe it is symbolic. The manna the Israelites ate was a precursor – a bodily food that showed, it was evidence of food from heaven, basically a miracle to keep the people from starving. The food we receive now is miraculous as well but in a spiritual sense.

God is calling us – a call to change.

God is all around us. We see Him in creation, in every good thing, what we lack is doing something about what we hear, what we learn, and that is something we should take to heart.

Are we changed? The word of God is like a two-edged sword, are we changed and challenged after hearing it?

How can we improve upon ourselves and our lack of fulfillment? We are malnourished in the sense of always looking for the next best thing, people often fill their lives with meanless chatter, events, and possessions but we all know those things do not fulfill us. The happiness of things is fleeting.

We have the Word of God all around us – but what we lack is the implementation of truth in our lives and in our hearts. If we truly have this food from heaven we can never be hungry. God promises!

Believers have malnutrition, we have the word which feeds us spiritually but we must do what we need to move forward.

It is time to be in the Word and to walk by faith and not by sight! That is the topic of another podcast coming soon. Faith in the unseen, because if we could see it, would it be called faith?

We must seek God and continue to seek only Him!

As a reminder, this podcast seeks to encourage you toward a deeper relationship with God. I ask questions often, and while I share my thoughts, I want you to grow in your walk with the Lord in this episode I feel we are scratching the surface on a deeper issue and that is how everything else is more important to “feeding” us in a temporal sense – a here and now, rather than an everlasting sense.

Let’s Pray.

Dear Heavenly Father, you are the Bread of Life, the food from heaven. You are the one and only God, there is no other, and I praise You and only You and I worship You – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I ask you, Lord, to fill me with wisdom, understanding, and peace as I seek you in a deeper way. Let me put Your words in Holy Scripture in my heart and allow me to change as you would have me change for the better. I can not do this on my own Lord and I need your help. I ask you Lord for the prayers and petitions that I now ask for… I ask that you give us your love, your peace and your joy as we continue to pray and ask and seek you, and I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Getting An Interview

Interview | Want an interview? Well, if you are an author, have a service or sell a product this is a great way to let people from all over the world know about what you have to offer. | #podcast #writingandpublishingGetting An Interview ~ Episode 11

Want an interview? Well, if you are an author, have a service or sell a product this is a great way to let people from all over the world know about what you have to offer.

Thanks to our sponsor! Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference. Learn more here.

How Do You Get An Interview?

I’ve met people and in the course of a conversation I’ll say, “Hey, can I interview you? I’d love to interview you about ____, my audience would enjoy what you have to say!” Believe me, this happens rarely. But I am approached online often by people I don’t know.

What I have learned is people with a book, a product or a service often approach me in a way that is not going to get them an interview on my podcast and I host several! So if you have something that you want to share, this is important information for you. 

 

I have a question for you. I actually have several questions and this is something that I would like you to think about if you want an interview.

  1. Why do you want that interview? If you’re going to say, I want to make money, then that is a sure fire way to fail. I have found that if you don’t have passion-passion-and-passion, you can’t fake it and if you’re on an interview and you’re not excited about the topic and you don’t have a lot to bring to the table, it’s going to show.
  2. What do you have to share that is unique? I shared with you in a previous episode that I wrote a book on writing and publishing. What makes my book unique? It’s short. You can read it in two to four hours and it’s like having a conversation with me. It is my consultation in a nutshell. You can find it on Amazon.
  3. How can you capture the eye of someone who has a platform that you want to be featured on? If you didn’t listen to Episode Nine on Connections, go back and listen to that episode or re-listen to it and you will find the importance of catching the eye of a potential podcaster by following them on social media and connecting with them in that way. Be sure to comment and leave a nice review 🙂 All this helps.

Being unique is important. It can be as simple as taking a complex topic and breaking it down. Like I shared with you about my Information In A Nutshell book and we did this in the second book in the Information Nutshell series and that is written by a CPA who wrote Business Tips and Taxes for Writers and Bloggers. Again, a very short book that is going to be something you can access with information that is going to help you to be successful in your business.

The secret sauce in this podcast on how to get an interview is the importance of connections. (If you’ve listened to past episodes, the secret sauce is a little bit of information I’m going to give you that is so important.) This is a surefire way to be seen and to make contact with people who have a platform. For example, Jeanne Burke wrote a book called College Prep Genius.

She is the resident expert on the SAT and ACT which are important for college entrance and more importantly, scholarships. She has been on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, and so many more television and radio shows. I’ve interviewed her several times and she is the walking, talking test prep genius.

Not only did I interview her, but I offered her a podcast on my network. Why? Because she was the perfect fit and her topic is high interest to my audience. So you know, a lot has been made about a pitch and I’m going to go through that in more detail at some point in another podcast. But I just want to give you a very short example of that, but before I do, I want you to be thinking about this and I’m going to ask you more questions.

More Questions!

  1. Do you “know” the person that is going to be interviewing you in the sense of you’ve listened to their show, you follow them on social media and remember the secret sauce connection?
  2. Is your message a good fit for the person’s show? I can’t tell you the number of times people contact me and they’re not a good fit.
  3. Is your message a message that’s not a sales pitch for your product or service. I received something recently from a lady and it was all about selling her book. I really wanted to interview this person, so I went the extra mile and explained to her I needed the “concept” of her product to talk about, not the product itself. She came back with really good information

If you answer these questions and you’ve answered them in a way that is giving to others, then we’re ready for the pitch. The first point is to keep it short. Again, I’ll go into this in detail on another podcast.

KEEP it SIMPLE:

You’re going to keep it simple because you have to grab the person’s attention. Remember your goal and sum it up in a sentence or two at the most, and be sure to tailor the pitch to the person. Know who is receiving your pitch and also what’s in it for me, and I don’t mean me in the sense of you,

I mean me in the sense of the person that you want to interview you, they are going to look at it and say, “Gosh, this is a great fit for my audience.” Be sure to do your research!

After you write your pitch, read it aloud. Keep it short, maybe four 50 to 600 words at the most, and if you’re going to send that in an email or if you’re talking to somebody, keep it to about 60 seconds. Really fine-tune your message because that is so important.

Eventually one of the goals of this platform is to monetize it, to make money, but friends this can’t be the main point. After a couple of years I was able to build my platform to have sponsors contact me. But, this wasn’t immediate so in the meantime

Now I have sponsorships, I have nothing against making money because it helps pay the bills–but the people I know that think podcasting is all about making dollars right off the bat are the ones that struggle.

Connect with me, and be sure to share this podcast and leave me a star rating on your favorite app!

Christian Ministry

Christian Ministry | Have you considered volunteering in a Christian Ministry? In today’s episode, we discuss why ministry work is important and ways to pray to the Lord for help in leading you. | #podcast #christianpodcastChristian Ministry — Episode 105

Have you considered volunteering in a Christian Ministry? In today’s episode, we discuss why ministry work is important and ways to pray to the Lord for help in leading you.

Sponsor: MediaAngels.com

Recently on a trip, I met two very sweet nuns. It is often that you see nuns wearing a habit and so, they pretty much stand out. One, in particular, caught my eye and she seemed to have that peace of Christ. She had a smile on her face and looked so inviting that I fell into easy conversation with her. She told me she wasn’t always Catholic and actually had a late calling to become a nun. I was so taken by her story that I asked her if I could interview Sr. Cecilia at some point for the One More Child Podcast and she said yes! So, I hope to do that soon.

That started me thinking. Here is this lady who has given her life to Christ and is by worldly standards “giving up everything,” to serve in a life of ministry. One of our family friends’ oldest son is a Catholic priest and we knew him as a young boy. He was a good student, started out homeschooling and then into a private Catholic high school, went to college and then, God called him. He said that when he was twelve he told us he wanted to be a priest but no one took him seriously. He had a bright future and he too “gave up everything,” to serve the Lord.

Do we give up everything when we serve? I don’t believe we do because as I am sure you know, you can’t out give God. Try it!

Ministry in a way is framed in Scripture with hospitality. We read of times when the Lord appeared or showed himself to those such as Abraham.

Abraham greets three stranger and gives them a wonderful meal – A and S did not know this was the Lord until he predicted that Sarah would bear a son (well past her childbearing years)

Later we read that Martha and Mary open their home to the Lord and his disciples – Mary listens to Jesus and Martha does the work – yet each serves God in their own way.

Last week we spoke about desiring God in our lives – more of God and less of us – and the love of God changes our hearts! We read in the Bible about how God showed us this love in serving others.

Have you asked yourself how you can serve God? Is there a Christian ministry that needs your help? I’m part of a women’s ministry, Magnificat that hosts a prayer breakfast four times a year. At this breakfast, we open our hearts to the women who attend, we have music and we sing praises to God and then we pray, we listen to a speaker who tells us their testimony about what God has done in their lives. Not so they can boast but so that they can point to the Lord and say, see where I am now thanks be to God.

Every time I attend I feel a stronger pull and call to serve God. We see examples of today of ministries. There are Christian ministries serve in nursing homes, they take communion to the people there, they set up prayer times and visit with the people.

We see those who serve in ministry to help bring the word of God whether in testimonies – This is what God has done in my life – or teachings that will allow us to make life changes and want to also be open to hospitality.

There are people who write books, who give talks, who host podcasts. Of course, when we think of ministry we think of those who go into the “mission field” to bring Christ to people in foreign countries.

Christian ministry can be as simple as a smile to a stranger, a smile to someone at church or even baking a bit extra to give a neighbor or friend. If we love the Lord we will open our hearts to serve those around us in any way that we can.

Look at the time you have and also your gifts. What do you have to offer? Sometimes a smile and a love for the Lord is enough! I remember one time praying that God uses me to bring more people to him… kids little … at home… no time. Repair people, cleaning people, bug guy!

Take some time and open your journal and ask God:

  1. Do you want me to serve you in Christian Ministry?
  2. How do you want me to serve?
  3. Bring me opportunities
  4. Open the doors
  5. Show me which ones to walk in!

Let’s Pray – Dear Lord you have called each one of us by name. You have asked us to make disciples of all nations, and while I have little to offer I give you the little I have. Please God, use me in this time of confusion, in this time of hardship and heartbreak. We live in a hurting world Lord, please use us to bring love and peace in your precious Name. Lord I ask for the following: (pray here). Lord, I praise you among all Names, and I thank you for every good thing and I pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

Blogging

Blogging | Blogging is one of those online platforms that takes very little work these days to set up and begin. It is used as a platform for authors, podcasters, and people who believe they have a message that they want to share. In this episode, we will examine blogging and how this can help your online presence. | #podcast #writing #podcasting #bloggingBlogging – Episode 10

Blogging is one of those online platforms that takes very little work these days to set up and begin. It is used as a platform for authors, podcasters, and people who believe they have a message that they want to share. In this episode, we will examine blogging and how this can help your online presence.

Sponsorship – Ultimate Christian Communicator’s Conference.

Many authors are told they must have a blog with a large following to get a book contract and while there is some truth in this, blogs take time, work and good blogs have a ton of social media work that goes on behind the scenes.

Blogs crop up daily and I am sure the statistics are frightening. I can write, each podcast I create in the hundreds now are mini-blog posts. They contain the content I will share as well as some well-placed search engine optimization phrases. However, I often find it is easier to podcast than it is to write! Why is this?

Marketing. If you are going to blog you have to market. Sorry. It is a sad truth. Many blogs languish because no one knows about them. Some bloggers write to make money, they get readers by giving things away or they talk about deals with links to said deals. Then, their sites are covered with ads with pop up ads and all types of noise so that you can barely read the writing.

Are you like me with too many ideas and too little time? If you are considering a blog here is what I’d recommend you do:

Reason For Blogging:

  1. Purpose
  2. Can you write?
  3. Do you have a topic you are passionate about?
  4. Will you run out of information?
  5. How often will you post?

The technology of Blogging:

  1. Can you set up a website or will you hire this out?
  2. Are you a techie? Will you learn?
  3. How are your marketing skills?
  4. Do you have social media accounts that are for your business/blog?
  5. Will you set up an email with an autoresponder?

Do you want your blog to succeed? Here is the secret sauce of the day… you must be passionate about your topic and your topic must be original. You can not copy someone else’s blog or style and call it good enough. How many mommy blogs are out there after the Pioneer Woman made it big? I’m sure a ton of copy cat versions. Now Lee films on the Food Network has a bunch of book deals, a store and so much more. She was real, authentic, humorous and now her blog looks nothing like it first did. But that’s okay! It changed and adapted.

You can look at successful blogs and say, why is this good or why do I like this blog? In that way, you can figure out a style you can live with and that reflects the five points above. The saying if you build it they will come only works in the theatres. In real life, if you build it (aka a blog) you need to be sure your marketing is top-notch or you will be spinning your wheels.

So, here are more questions to ask:

The Bottom Line:

  1. Will writing this blog take time away from writing a book or podcasting?
  2. Will writing this blog be the perfect way to showcase my podcast, service or books?
  3. Will I enjoy writing this blog and it is a passion of mine?
  4. Will the benefits outweigh the time constraint.
  5. Do I have the social media savviness to get the word out?

If you begin a blog, stick to it. Give yourself a time limit to get it off the ground and share it with everyone. Don’t give up. Make business cards, hand it to friends, mail them to those you think will benefit. Remember the smaller your niche the better it will go, and have fun with it!

 

Fruit Of The Spirit In Families

Fruit of the Spirit | Does your family need the Fruit of the Spirit in your lives? Join me and a special guest, Deanna Bartalini, the author of "Invite the Holy Spirit Into Your Life," and shares with us how you can encourage spiritual growth in yourself and in your family. | #podcast #christianpodcastFruit of the Spirit In Families ~ Episode 20

Does your family need the Fruit of the Spirit in your lives? Join me and a special guest, Deanna Bartalini, the author of “Invite the Holy Spirit Into Your Life,” and shares with us how you can encourage spiritual growth in yourself and in your family.

Deanna Bartalini can be found on her website here – http://www.deannabartalini.com/

To purchase Deanna’s book – visit this website for more information.

She is the author of “Invite the Holy Spirit into Your Life: Growing in Love, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.” This is a Journal for Catholic Women. (This book can be used by women of all Christian denominations.)

The growth in spiritual gifts and fruits are important! In this episode, we continue to learn more about ourselves and how we can improve in our spiritual walk.

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit…” Galatians 5:22-25

We can grow in our daily life and have more peace, love, and joy. This is foundational to knowing who I am with Christ and being “good” with it! ~ Deanna shares more on the audio of this episode.

Fruit of the Spirit:

  1. How the Fruit of the Spirit is different from the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Where do the fruits come from?
  3. Why it is important to have and grow in the Spirit.
  4. How this is different than being a “good person.”
  5. How do we get and grow in the Fruit of the Spirit?

The Lord has gifted us and to grow in the gifts we already have we must practice. Typically we are “falling down,” in a fruit that we need. In this way, we practice to attain or achieve this blessing from the Lord.

Deanna Bartalini, M.Ed., M.P.A., is a Catholic writer, speaker and presenter, and educator.

Connections

Connections | It's all about connections, who do you know, how can you get an interview on a podcast, how can you promote your book? Connections mean everything in the industry saturated with mediocre and many time false information about the writing and publishing industry. | #podcast #writingandpodcastingConnections In Writing, Podcasting & Publishing – Episode 9

It’s all about connections, who do you know, how can you get an interview on a podcast, how can you promote your book? Connections mean everything in the industry saturated with mediocre and many time false information about the writing and publishing industry.

Thanks to the: Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference ~ this event is for anyone seriously considering increasing their exposure as a speaker at upcoming events as well as those interested in learning from leaders in the industry! Not to be missed, the conference can be attended live or you can purchase the recorded set.

My story began backward, I had a speaking platform before I had a book. This is actually a great way to begin because when you have a book, product or service, you already have a willing and waiting group of people who are interested in buying what you have to sell. That is one reason I recommend that you begin a podcast if you have allot of information worth sharing.

I’ve worked with many people in the writing, publishing and podcasting world. I’ve met some heads of large publishing companies and learned that I’m very happy as a self-published author. As I may have shared in the past, I received and turned down a four-book publishing contract. Were there times I regretted this? Yes, but then I know that it was all for the best.

One of the introductions to a large publisher came from a friend. He was actually an author but his day job was as an investment planner. I met him at a conference after he heard me speak, liked what I had to say and we had a nice conversation at my book table afterward. He wanted to introduce me to this publisher (who was his publisher) as well as one of his clients. Connections!

Connections help us in time of need. When I had my book publishing offer and read over the contract I realized that I needed to give this company the right of refusal with any of my upcoming books. I also knew that this company had a very narrow focus and my other books would have a larger market. These were not decisions I made lightly. It helped that I could go to a friend who had signed a book deal with another publisher and compare notes. I realized that with my goal, which was to run an online platform my goals were a bit different than most.

We live firmly in the world of home, family, and schedules. For those of us who run businesses, we also live in a world of people we’ve never met, people who are dear friends, and we form many symbiotic relationships. In my online world I know many people, in fact, my Facebook feed can attest to this and there is a small fraction of my friends that I have met in real life. Yet, many of those friends and connections are real and basically in this age of technology a mouse click away.

How do we use our connections? That is the real question. Before we delve into this, I want to share what I call a “secret sauce” piece of information. I’m a cook can you tell? This information will make a difference in how others perceive you online. The secret is to be a friend before you begin asking for favors. I can not tell you all the times I receive emails from people who ask to be interviewed. Either the emails are from slick advertising companies representing these authors or product providers, or the person themselves.

I think, are we friends on Facebook. I look – no. Are we connected on LinkedIn? No. Twitter? No. Instagram? No again.

If I am not your friend on social media and you ask me something, even if you have the best product known to man out there, I’m frankly just not that interested. Interviewing takes time and work. I have to find out all about you, look at your books or service, understand a bit about your history or back story. I will in addition promote, promote, promote your interview once it is complete. Work. Lots of work.

Do you see why connections are important? I’ve had people begin sharing my posts, comment on my podcasts, or send me emails after receiving something from my mailing list. These are connections, they are people I may know or interact with. Sometimes, rarely someone sends me an email and it interests me so much I’ll ask for an interview, but that happens rarely. An interview is a favor.

Here are my top tips for making the right connections:

  1. Be sure to connect on social media. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
  2. Do they have a podcast? Be sure you listen, comment and share.
  3. Do they have a blog? Comment.
  4. Share, share, share. DO you see them posting on social media? Share it with your friends.
  5. Give. Give. Give.

I love to read and in my spare time that is what I do! It is an escape and I try to read one spiritual book, one business book, and then one fun book. I followed my own advice and after reading a book that I received for free on Amazon Kindle, I followed the author and bought all the other books in the series. She invited in her books to subscribe to her email to get a free book, and I did. I found myself enjoying her short emails and then a request. Receive ARC (Advanced Reader Copies) to find typos etc. and in return comment on social media and where the books are sold – disclosing that I received a free copy. Since I liked the author I was in. Then, the author emailed me back (after I sent links to the reviews) surprised I wrote three different reviews. Seriously? Who would post the same review three places? Obviously, someone who doesn’t know about the importance of SEO (search engine optimization – a must for those of us who know what that means.). So, I thought why not ask, this lady seems really nice – I should interview her! And, she said yes. So, at some point, I’ll have her on this show.

Connections. They take time but they work. And, friends you will be surprised at how a seemingly benign and kind thing turns into something more!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode, connect with me on social media, and please follow this show, give me a star rating on your favorite podcast app, and share this episode with a friend!

Hope you plan on coming to the Ultimate Christian Communicator’s Conference so we can meet in real life! And, I hope to talk to you soon!

Desiring God

Desiring God | Above all things desiring God is the key to our happiness. Or do you look at cheap substitutions and find yourself feeling lacking? In this episode, we will discuss how our desire for God can make us whole and realize what we are missing in our lives. | #podcast #christianpodcastDesiring God – Episode 104

Above all things desiring God is the key to our happiness. Or do you look at cheap substitutions and find yourself feeling lacking? In this episode, we will discuss how our desire for God can make us whole and realize what we are missing in our lives.

Sponsor! Overcomer Movie

Trailer URL for Overcomer Movie: 

Site URL for the Overcomer Movie

In the episodes of AFMWG Podcast, we’ve talked about spending time with God in prayer, in the word, and in silence. In this way, we can grow in our relationship with Him. But we are busy, life has a way of throwing us curves and we find ourselves overwhelmed many times and ready to channel surf or mindlessly check social media accounts.

Talking To God In Prayer takes persistence ~ Desiring God Is A Choice

We talk to God, when we read the Bible, we try to listen to that still, small voice. We are not blessed to walk with God as Adam and Eve did, or talk to God as Abraham did, and the prophets who heard the Lord, clearly and distinctly.

When we think about persistence we think about Abraham asking God to spare Sodom and Gomora – over and over again reducing the number until it was down to 10. Unfortunately for the people only four survived, Lot his wife, and his two daughters (until his wife turned back to look after being warned not to – and the Bible says she turned into a pillar of salt) and then only three survived, Lot and his two daughters, because the people had hardened their hearts against God.

When God gives us a warning we must listen, and his justice –  We can never know the mind of God – we can read the Bible but sometimes what we read is puzzling which is why we need:

  1. Quiet and prayer first.
  2. Pray to the Holy Spirit ~ who will help us! Just ask
  3. Good pastor or spiritual counselor.

Why is this? Desiring God doesn’t necessarily mean we understand his ways. For example,  why didn’t God get angry when Abraham asked him over and over again to spare Sodom and Gomora? This evil was spreading and spreading to everyone who entered and set foot, yet God listened to Abraham’s prayer.

Jesus showed us how to talk to the Lord and how to pray – the Lord’s Prayer.

Jesus told us to call, God – “Father,” and no matter what your relationship is with your Father – God is a God of blessings.

Jesus illustrates the persistence

With a relationship, with a desire to know God, we understand that the source of all we need centers on God. If we fill our time with cheap substitutes we learn, rather quickly that it leaves us feeling lacking.

Many times our desire for God centers around our need to have prayers answered. If you pray and the Lord hasn’t answered you do you give up? We know God hears all of our prayers – even those we have in our hearts and are afraid to ask! If you give up then you are not serious in their request, and how can I say that? I don’t know you do I? I can say that because I know that God is all good, all-knowing and His generosity and mercy is immense. He has gifted us with the gifts through the Holy Spirit! I was able to interview an author of a book on the Holy Spirit who had some amazing insight, and I can’t wait to share that interview with you.

We desire God because we are commanded to love God.

Greatest Commandment is to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as your self…

Knowing things in our hearts, memorizing Scripture, doing works of charity and mercy all bring us closer to God and it is the desire and faith that changes our hearts.

Moses realized when he spoke to the people about God’s commandments – Deuteronomy 30:14 – “It is something very near to you…in your hearts.”

What better way is there to know something than by heart – to commitment things to memory. Whether it is prayers, or whether it is memorizing the Scriptures. When we have things in our hearts, we open our hearts to the words and it becomes part of our life, it molds our life and changes it – hopefully for the better!

But can we apply these things to our own lives?

We all know the story of the Good Samaritan the story of someone who goes out of their way for someone that they don’t know. The story is of the man who helped the person left to die on the side of the street after being victimized, we see people walk by who are the very people who should help this man, but they do not. These people walk on the other side of the road to avoid the victim.

Yet this story is one of the most popular because we find that the person who should be the one the least likely to help turns out to be the person who helps.

There were many major religious difference between the Samaritans and the Jews, but the parable teaches a greater truth, and that is the focus of the law over love.

Caution here – we hate the sin but love the sinner. We are not the ones to condemn, we leave it up to God. I feel that people use situations in the Bible to fit their own preconceived notion of how things should be. That is an error.

The story has a great impact on our lives and makes us think – it stretches us – it is how we should feel when we read the Word of God – we should want to be changed for the better. Deut. 30:10 … Moses asks the people to return to God with all your heart. Can we do this, especially with prayer?

If God’s will is in your heart so that you can desire Him, then you will know what to do in difficult situations, in times when there is nowhere else to turn but to God for the answers, when things are out of our control. You cannot help but follow God when times are difficult because you’re the desire for God has increased your faith and He has changed your heart.

Desiring God can increase with:

  1. Pray – make time each day.
  2. Scripture
  3. Sing to the Lord
  4. Journal
  5. Listen

I know friends, nothing new, but if we do not practice these things we will become stagnant and empty and seek things that will not make us happy!

Let’s pray. Dear Heavenly Father, you are the provider of every good thing, I ask God for a desire for you – I want more of you Father, more of you in my life. Increase my desire to know you, love you and do all things that bring you glory. Dear Lord thank you for today and all you have given me, even those things that are hard and I do not feel I can carry. I don’t need to worry because I know that you have me in the palm of your hand. Thank you, Father, and please hear the prayers I am asking for and I will continue to pray with the faith of Abraham who asked over and over again. I pray for the following…

And I pray this in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit Jesus Amen.

Transforming Faith

Transforming Faith | Do you have a transforming faith? A faith that withstands persecution or a faith that would leave everything behind to follow God? We have many excuses for following God The disciples left everything, family, and home to follow Jesus. In this episode we will discuss following God will transform us. | #podcast #christianpodcastTransforming Faith – Episode 103

Do you have a transforming faith? A faith that withstands persecution or a faith that would leave everything behind to follow God? We have many excuses for following God The disciples left everything, family, and home to follow Jesus. In this episode we will discuss following God will transform us.

Sponsor! Overcomer Movie

Trailer URL for Overcomer Movie: 

Site URL for the Overcomer Movie

Friends, let’s be real here – we are attached to the things of this world, our homes, our sense of security and of course comfort, and every technological toy that helps us in our daily lives. And, why shouldn’t we be attached? We are living in this present age, right? We should have the things we need to survive.

In Matthew 8:20, Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

Jesus left home to preach, teach and heal. He was sent by the Father. He called simple men to follow him, and they did. Once the men followed they changed, they learned, they became transformed.

Faith will transform us! We see it in the lives of the disciples, and that God equips those He calls. Did they get it right the first time? No, it was over and over again.

What hits home is when we read that not all those who were called followed. Why?

Some had good reasons – one had to bury his father, one wants to say goodbye to his family, and we know the point being made is that follow Jesus requires total commitment. Like Elisha Jesus’ disciples are called to leave everything behind – even home.

In Luke 9:60 we read – Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

We are asked to leave everything and follow him. The question is can we? The next question to ask is do we follow him in our daily lives?

Friends, when I think about what the disciples went through I am amazed and in awe, but then I remember, again that God equips those He calls.

Luke 10:3 – Jesus sends his disciples “like lambs among wolves.”  Jesus asked the disciples to depend on the kindness of strangers, as they travel without belongings or money. If people did not welcome them they were to dust off your feet their feet –

Luke 10:9-11

 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’

So many people think that Christianity means, “what you give up.” No. This is an untruth. Christianity is all-inclusive, it is about redemption, but remember it is about the cross as well. Faith in the power of the cross, the redemptive power of Christ’s crucifixion for our sins – not the sins of our neighbor’s but our sins.

How can you thank someone who died for you? For the sins that you committed yesterday, today and tomorrow? We become new with our Christian faith and it is transforming faith.

The door is open and everyone is able to receive salvation – yet are we willing or do we have excuses. Yes, we can be laborers for the kingdom, this means to our neighbors to our friends to those who have hurt us the most. We forgive as we are forgiven. We are transformed.

Let’s pray. Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for today, for all the blessings and for those blessings that are yet to come. I thank you your provision, for keeping us safe, for protecting marriages Lord, for coming against the evil one who wants to harm us and to break up marriages. I thank you for all the things you have done that I do not know about…and Lord I ask that you give me transforming faith, the faith that allows me to leave behind the old creation and become a new creation in Christ. Dear Lord, I ask for the following prayers … please, Lord, I ask that you help those I pray for that you help me and I pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

Taming the Tongue

Tming The Tongue | In James 3:3 he talks about the power of the tongue. In this episode, Felice discusses how some of us need a good dose of taming the tongue in our everyday lives. Can you imagine a world where we are encouraged and uplifted, it can be done and it begins with you! | #podcast #christianpodcastTaming The Tongue – Episode 18

In James 3:3 he talks about the power of the tongue. In this episode, Felice discusses how some of us need a good dose of taming the tongue in our everyday lives. Can you imagine a world where we are encouraged and uplifted, it can be done and it begins with us.

Sponsor! Overcomer Movie

Trailer URL for Overcomer Movie:  

Site URL for the Overcomer Movie

How often have you said something you regret, to your spouse, your children, or someone else close to you? Why is it that we hurt the people we love the most? Often, as parents we often find ourselves saying things in anger, frustration and then wished for a do-over? The good news is we do get a do-over each and every day, but truthfully our frustrations often occur in direct correlation to our experience and relationship with God.

Recently I was in church and praying. As I was praying to the Lord, a strong thought of anger came over me of an injustice that happened in my life. It wasn’t a big thing but it was something that hurt me. In my mind, I knew it was silly to be upset because I understood the action behind the cause of my pain was not intentional, yet the more I thought about it the angrier I became. So angry in fact that I almost got up and left the church!

I realized my mistake, repented and asked the Lord for forgiveness and the Lord relieved me of the burden of hurt. When we talk about taming the tongue, the same goes for words that are left unsaid. Sometimes we don’t know what to say and even our silence can cause harm to those we love.

God said the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. These are what I call heart issues. We know things in our heart but our minds are a different story.

Faith changes our heart. It fills our heart with every good thing. If God’s will is in your heart you will know what to do in difficult situations, and in times when there is nowhere else to turn but to God for the answers. Life often throws us into situations where we feel totally out of control. Ask any parent of young children. One minute everything is going well and the next minute chaos! You can’t help but cry out to God in times such as this rather than losing your temper. It never helps.

I use to say, I have to yell because I’m Italian, and once I yell I feel better. This might be true, but I can guarantee while I felt better my kids didn’t.

Taming the Tongue: Great Scriptures:

  • Colossians 4:6:
  •  Ephesians 4:29
  • Proverbs 10:19
  • Proverbs 15:4
  • Matthew 15:11
  • Psalm 34:13
    Proverbs 15:1-2
    Proverbs 6:16-19

So, how do you apply this to your life? Taming the Tongue 101:

  1. When you want to lash out, take a deep breath – pause.
  2. Prepare a statement – I’m so angry I don’t know what to say right now, but let me pray about it and I will let you know later.
  3. Avoid confrontation – yes, you need to address bad behavior (with your kids) but, avoid arguing. Start with – what you did is not right, Avoid character assassination. Address the sin, not the person.
  4. What is really going on here?
  5. Relationship – it is all about love, the love of God within us and the fruits of the Holy Spirit – the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the peace and joy that only God can give.

I believe that many times when we lose it and we are upset many times it is because of what we believe the problem is rather than what it actually is – what I mean by this is often when we listen, (which we don’t want to because we are angry!) then we realize much of what we were upset about really isn’t valid. And if it is, take a breath and use a prepared statement!

Listen, no one said life is easy, there are often ups and downs in each person’s life that is a struggle, but if we take the time and make a plan, we can sure work toward taming the tongue and having fewer regrets in life!

You won’t want to miss the next upcoming episode – with Deanna Bartalin who wrote a book on the topic and has a wealth of great ideas that are applicable

WRAP Yourself in Scripture

Wrap Yourself In Scripture | What happens when you wrap yourself in Scripture? You will find yourself in a closer relationship with God! Why wait? Learn what the acronym WRAP means and some great resources to get you started. | #podcasat #christian podcast Wrap Yourself In Scripture Episode 102

What happens when you wrap yourself in Scripture? You will find yourself in a closer relationship with God! Why wait? Learn what the acronym WRAP means and some great resources to get you started.

Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

Trailer URL for Overcomer Movie: 

Site URL for the Overcomer Movie

Great Resource!

Where to find the book ~ WRAP Yourself in Scripture by Karen Dwyer

There are many ways to pray and prayer is different for each person. Some people pray with words, others are with the Lord listening to his small, still, voice and others may sing or talk to the Lord as if they were talking to a friend. Prayer is two-way communication with the Lord. In this way, we are able to grow closer to God.

Recently I attended a conference and heard Karen Dwyer speak, and was really blessed. In one of the books she wrote, she explained a concept about called WRAP, wrap yourself in Scripture. I felt that this process helped me to not only read the scriptures but to allow the words to touch my heart in a deeper way. Reading the scriptures allows us to be in fellowship with God and brings us joy. We should want a deeper encounter with the Almighty God in daily prayer.

Wrap stands for:

  • W stands for Write
  • R stands for Reflect
  • A stands for Apply
  • P stands for Praise

According to Dwyer, the WRAP process takes the same skills we use when we worry and transfers to prayer. She goes into this in detail in her book. But this process really works!

I think what I found the most encouraging is that she said we should spend time after reading the scriptures to allow the Lord to love us! Just think of it! We know God loves us unconditionally. But when we pause after reading the scriptures and try to seek what the Lord is telling us from His word, we are allowing His love to flow upon us! What a blessing!

There is power in prayer, in praise and in reading scriptures. Our Lord Jesus quoted the scriptures many times. The scriptures were memorized and made part of their lives. Do we memorize the Word? Do we commit verses to mind so that we can recall them in times of darkness when we need the Lord the most?

In order to wrap ourselves in scripture, we need to make an effort, and as in past podcasts, I’ve discussed setting aside time, using a prayer journal, finding a good place that is quiet to read the Bible and to pray. These are simple directions in how to get the most out of your time with God.

Let’s pray.

Dear heavenly Father, we praise you and we thank you for every good thing in our life and in the lives of those around us. We thank you for all the people who never appreciate or thank you for what you have done in their lives.

Power of Praise

Power of Praise | The power of praise is amazing! It can uplift your spirits in a way that nothing else can. Want to feel like you are touching heaven? Praise God. In this episode, Felice shares the amazing power of praise and ways you can use this in your own life. | #podcast #christianpodcastPower of Praise Episode 101

The power of praise is amazing! It can uplift your spirits in a way that nothing else can. Want to feel like you are touching heaven? Praise God. In this episode, Felice shares the amazing power of praise and ways you can use this in your own life.

Thanks to our sponsor – Overcomer the Movie! In theatres at the end of August 2019 but guess what? The video is available afterward as well. This is one of the must-see movies for families (who love sports) of the year.

I just came back from a Christian conference and it was amazing. Yes, the talks were great, the setting was wonderful. It was a split between time to have quiet and pray, worship, listen to amazing speakers, pray as a group, visiting wonderful churches and sampling the local cuisine. I even rode in my first non-taxi! But even with all the wonderful things that happened was praising God in a large group. This group was an International Ministry with leaders from around the world and we were all singing praises to Jesus! Our Lord and Our God.

One of the greatest books I read on the power of praise was written by Merlin R. Carothers, Power in Praise. It is a life changer if you have never read it. I purchased this book in bunches of five to ten. While Mr. Carothers is no longer alive he was such a powerhouse. I was on his mailing list and even received an email from him after he died!

When we praise God we are keeping the first of the Ten Commandments. “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have any strange gods before Me.”
It puts our eyes back where it belongs, on God. We forget our problems.
It makes the enemy flee! The devil hates our praise, evil can not stand when we praise and thank God. Feeling depressed? Praise God. Try it. Praise reminds that we need God. God will bless us

Psalms 100:4 – Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise. Give thanks to him; bless his name!”

Here is an example of a litany of praise.

  • Praise you, Jesus.
  • I thank you, Lord Jesus.
  • You are the King of Kings.
  • You are the Lord of Lord.
  • You are the Bright Shining Star.
  • You are the Alpha and the Omega – the Beginning and the End.

You can add to this and it will, I promise to change your life.

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord Jesus, I praise you and I thank you for all that you do. Please help us to worship you in praise, there is power in praise and it lifts us to the gates of heaven and beyond. I love you, Lord. I worship you, Lord. You are the Creator of the Universe and all that is in it – and you are the Almighty God. Dear Lord, in humility I come before you and lay out all of my petitions to you… I place them in your most competent and loving hands. Please Lord, if it is for my eternal good and those that I pray for, please answer my prayers… Thank you God for giving me the ultimate gift, the gift of faith, salvation and I pray, someday eternal life with you.

 

5 Characteristics of Healthy Families

5 Characteristics Of A Healthy Family | Being open to having more kids comes with understanding the characteristics of healthy families. There are five main characteristics we will focus upon as well as realistic goals to achieve peace and harmony, what parents and children both crave.| #podcast #characteristcsofhealthyfamilies #familylife #parenting5 Characteristics of Healthy Families Episode 17

Being open to having more kids comes with understanding the characteristics of healthy families. There are five main characteristics we will focus upon as well as realistic goals to achieve peace and harmony, what parents and children both crave.

Thanks to our sponsor!

Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

Trailer URL for Overcomer Movie: 

Site URL for the Overcomer Movie

The family is the safe zone, it is a place where the children can grow and flourish into the people that God designed them to be. A family offers the children emotional security free from self-doubt, incrimination, and guilt! Does this sound like a fictitious ideal? Well, it shouldn’t be, God designed our families to be a strong unit, something the enemy hates! For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20  God also formed the family in his image – the two become one and nine months later a baby is born. I realize life is not that simple but thinking of the family in the context of God and his creation and plan for a family it brings it to an entirely new realm.

5 Characteristics of Healthy Families:

  1. Faith: A relationship with God that is strong is a foundation to everything that comes next, love, kindness, loyalty, and trust. Faith is a gift that is given freely, God waits with open hands for our “yes” and invites us to true peace.
  2. Love: this comes from above! God is love and the source of all love. If you do not know God, that is a priority. Secondly loving others as you love yourself. Yes, this may seem narcissistic, but you can’t love others if you hate yourself. Love is the glue that keeps a family together.
  3. Kindness: We can train ourselves to be kind and think the best of others even if this does not come naturally. A healthy family is one that thinks before they speak and thinks the best of people before jumping to conclusions.
  4. Loyalty: Will we stand by our family members, nurture and train them to be the best person as God designed them to be, using their talents and gifts for others? Loyalty to the family can be expressed by encouraging unity during discussions and when disunity happens have tools in place to bring the family together for open and honest discussion. This relates to trust as well.
  5. Trust: Trust is earned and it can easily be lost. Trust is given and it should be cherished, explain the importance of trust and understanding why this is something that must be demonstrated again and again. This is especially important when the child is young, that the child takes ownership of situations as presented and shows they can do what is required.

The family bound is important and it is part of a family legacy. What do we want our children to remember? A good home life and a family that cares is much more important than what your family can buy. Some families think it is quality time vs. quantity time – and think there is no difference.

Each family needs to figure out their own solution for this, and for us, I chose to stay home with my children vs. furthering my career. My career came later when the kids were older when I could fulfill my dream of writing, publishing and public speaking. My niece and nephews have a different family solution, my niece an attorney works and her husband stays home with the kids and then works on the computer when they are in school, my other niece and nephew both doctors split a week with one working two days and the other three days a week. For each family, time with their kids is important because it goes so quickly.

Some quick keys that will help your family is to have open communication – kids need to feel they can talk to their parents no matter what. This also means listening. Forgiveness is another key, bad feelings need to be resolved and saying I’m sorry is different than saying, please forgive me.

Links to other podcasts on forgiveness:

Forgiveness: An explanation and solutions.

Asking for forgiveness – the key to healing.

Lastly, be appreciative of your family and happy for what God has put together. We do not have a choice in the children we are given but the ultimate Creator of the Universe knows and has carefully selected you – and me to be the parents of the amazing children He gives us. We can be appreciative of our kids and work on encouraging them but it takes an effort. Words are cheap, people, and we can use our words to uplift or tear people down. Uplifting is so much better!

 

 

Spiritual Discernment

Spiritual Discernment ~ Episode 100

Spiritual Discernment | The gift of spiritual discernment is one we all need! It allows us to see the truth to avoid darkness and to be ready for what is in store for those who love the Lord. | #podcast #christianpodcast #spiritualgifts #UCPNThe gift of spiritual discernment is one we all need! It allows us to see the truth to avoid darkness and to be ready for what is in store for those who love the Lord!

Welcome to AFMWG – this is a milestone episode for me – 100! When I began this podcast I had a handful of listeners and I believed the Lord wanted me to continue, even if I could fit all of you in my living room! However, as this show has grown in the number of listeners I am blessed by the power of God and some of you have given me feedback on what this show means to you – thank-you. If the Lord has helped me to help one person then this show has been worth it.

How do you connect to me? Via social media – we have a FB group for this network, look for the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network. You can also comment on our website at AFewMinutesWithGodPodcast.com – each show has it’s own post where we are open for comments.

And, please share this podcast with a friend to keep us growing and give me a star rating on your favorite podcast app. Thank you again for being a listener.

Thanks to our sponsor OvercomerMovie.com

I was chatting with some moms that were talking about seeing a miraculous manifestation. Some thought it looked evil, others thought it was a miracle, a sign from God. Friends, in this case, we need discernment. Why did God perform miracles? He did this to increase the faith of those who saw Him do this, it is to increase our own personal faith. The importance of the gift of discernment could take up the next ten episodes of A Few Minutes With God Podcast! The gift of discernment keeps us from evil. Discernment allows us to see right and wrong, it allows us to recognize a sign that is not from God.

Back when I was learning about the gifts of the Holy Spirit the one gift I didn’t want was anything that had to do with discerning evil. I was young in my missionary walk with the Lord, in other words, I believed I loved the Lord and followed Him, but it was a personal journey – I would never consider doing a podcast or ever talking about anything religious in any sense of the word! Why didn’t I want the gift? Because I was afraid of evil. When we are strong in the Lord there is no need to fear. My mother use to say the devil was the size of an ant and the Lord the size of the entire world, and she is right! Jesus has already won the battle, and he has been victorious so what do we need to fear?

Holy Spirit Podcast here

There was an instance in my life when I met a person and I could sense evil. Don’t ask me how, I could, and it made me shudder. I warned one of my son’s about this person because he had to work closely with her on a ranch and he was very kind and could easily be swayed. Some things happened that caused him to feel the intuition I had was right and he came to me to talk about it, it turned out leaving a job was the best way to deal with the situation.

This “feeling” or “intuition” or gift has happened to me time and time again. It is something you can pray for and ask the Lord to give us and you will find it is one of the biggest blessings!

Starting with 1 Kings 3:11 when God said to Solomon that he didn’t ask for riches, or for the life of his enemies but for discernment to know what is right all the way to 1 Corinthians 12:10 discernment has been sought after by followers.

Proverbs 16:21 – The wise of heart is esteemed for discernment, and pleasing speech gains a reputation for learning.

1 John 5:20 – We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment to know the one who is true. And we are in the one who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

In 1 Corinthians the gifts of the Holy Spirit are layed out and especially in 10 we read, “…to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues.”

To grow in the gifts of discernment we need to pray for the help of the Holy Spirit, ask for the spiritual gifts of knowledge and understanding, and continue to read and study the Scriptures. Get connected to a church, and be sure to keep your eyes on Christ.

Friends, these gifts strengthen us in our walk with the Lord!

Let’s Pray For the Gift of Spiritual Discernment

Dear Father, I ask for an infilling of Your Holy Spirit, please give me the gift of discernment, please help me on my spiritual journey and I ask for the following prayer intentions… Father if it is in your will please answer my prayers, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Gifts of the Holy Spirit | The gifts of the Holy Spirit are real and free and available to all. At Pentecost, the disciples were able to speak in different languages and those who heard them understood. | #podcast #christianpodcast #holyspiritGifts of the Holy Spirit Episode 99

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are real and free and available to all. At Pentecost, the disciples were able to speak in different languages and those who heard them understood. The disciples were taught by the Holy Spirit in other ways as well, by reminding them what Jesus had taught them. Remember, they learned from the Lord but often did not understand what he meant. (John 14:26) We even read passages where Mary buried things in her heart. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Luke 2:19

The Holy Spirit allowed them to remember and bring God’s word with them wherever they went and any time they wanted it, it was available to them to use as they became missionaries for the Lord. I once read an analogy of how the information we have today available to us at a push of a button via our cell phones is similar to what the apostles must have felt when they had access to the gifts of the spirit.

Starting with 1 Kings 3:11 when God said to Solomon that he didn’t ask for riches, or for the life of his enemies but for discernment to know what is right all the way to 1 Corinthians 12:10 discernment has been sought after by followers.

Proverbs 16:21 – The wise of heart is esteemed for discernment, and pleasing speech gains a reputation for learning.

1 John 5:20 – We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment to know the one who is true. And we are in the one who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

What is impactful is the following verse in 1 Corinthians 1:10 – “…to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. ”

Holy Spirit Podcast here

Please read all of 1 Corinthians 12 –

The overall purpose was to teach the believers that when they were pagans they were attracted to the way of the idols and that it was difficult to resist sin. god sent us the Holy Spirit so that we could use these gifts, which are many to be steadfast, to have wisdom and discernment.

1 Corinthians 12, verse four talks about the different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Wisdom
Understanding
Counsel
Fortitude
Knowledge
Piety
Fear of the Lord

Wisdom is considered the first and the greatest of the gifts.

Understanding helps us to realize the importance of God as the Almighty, opens our eyes to the spiritual and allows us to read and understand Scripture

Fortitude has to do with courage, and also endurance

Knowledge: The gift of knowledge allows one, as far as is humanly possible, to see things from God’s perspective. It “allows us to perceive the greatness of God and his love for his creatures” through creation.[24]

Piety is the awe of God and the understanding of our own weaknesses – this virtue can be overused in the sense of condemning others and become judgemental.

Fear of the Lord is an understanding of the awesomeness of Almighty God.

 

Raising Great Kids In One Easy Lesson

Raising Great Kids | We want to raise great kids that we are proud of, let’s face it isn’t that hard, or is it? In today’s podcast, we discuss raising great kids and how it really can be done in one easy lesson! | #podcast #christianfamilies #greatkids #parenting #UCPNRaising Great Kids In One Easy Lesson! Episode 16

We want to raise great kids that we are proud of, let’s face it isn’t that hard, or is it? In today’s podcast, we discuss raising great kids and how it really can be done in one easy lesson!

Thanks to today’s sponsor – OvercomerMovie – don’t miss the family-friendly handout on the website.

I’ve parented since 1980 when my first child was born. If you do the math you can see it is quite a few years. My five children are all different, and my eight grandchildren have the same trait, they are unique. So what do parents do with all of these different little personalities God has gifted them with?

From my experience with my own children, teaching other children and speaking to hundreds of parents of children it is one of two things with everything in between. We spoil them, we are harsh disciplinarians or we fall somewhere right of center, or left of center, or the worse, in the center.

Raising Great Kids by Example

In a nutshell, if you want to raise great kids it takes modeling good behavior and dealing with bad behavior. I believe that God created man to be good, his Creation (read Genesis) was all about seeing that what He created was good. Sure we are tempted and sure our kids tend to protect self over others, but if we believe our kids have goodness in them, that is helpful!

We must model the behavior and encourage our children to do the same. We want our children to have honorable values, be respectful, love God, and be happy.

The problems begin to happen when we don’t correct behavior that is not acceptable. I think one of the biggest issues is when kids lie. I know for some of us lying is the ultimate sin and we can’t handle it when our kids are less than truthful. But what about us? Do we lie? Do we always tell our kids the truth?

The erosion begins when our kids hear things (and our kids have great hearing when they want to!) and they begin to lie.

Have you ever caught your child in a lie and they vehemently argue that you are wrong? (Story about being a kid and this happening to me.) It was a God moment in my life.

Issues with Raising Great Kids May Stem From:

  1. Uncorrected behavior
  2. Making excuses for our kids
  3. Being too understanding

Our kids will soon learn that they can get away bad behavior and that my friends is why we see kids that are brats, we especially see this in other people’s children!

Take a hard look, and look within:

  1. Can your children handle disappointment?
  2. How do your kids do when you discipline them?
  3. Is your child me focused?
  4. Does your child blame others?
  5. Does your child take responsibility or apologize?

Look at yourself:

  1. Do you deal with lies for example when they happen?
  2. Do you have a clear cut disciplinary procedure?
  3. Do you make excuses for misbehavior to yourself or others?
  4. Do you blame others?
  5. Do you expect your child to make restitution?

If your children are little that is the best time to begin teaching our children the difference between right and wrong. We should never discipline in anger. Our kids need to realize we love them but we will not put up with bad behavior. Yes, talk to your children but be sure there is a punishment that will deter future problems. I usually pray when I am at a loss of what to do! Prayer has helped me tremendously in dealing with situations that I felt were out of my control or I felt the usual discipline wasn’t going to work.

The idea of discipline is to get better results, so if the results are not changing you need a change!

You cannot raise great kids alone, it takes being on your knees and understanding that ultimately God is in charge! God gave us these blessings and He handpicked YOU as the perfect parent for your child, whether you believe this or not you are the perfect parent. We all make mistakes but each day is a new day!

 

 

Promises To Abraham

Promises To Abraham | When we read Genesis we learn, soon after the fall that all is not lost. We have hope in the promises to Abraham, from God. All is not lost and we know that through Abraham came the lineage to David and through David the lineage to Joseph and in essence to Jesus. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcastPromises To Abraham – Episode 98

When we read Genesis we learn, soon after the fall that all is not lost. We have hope in the promises to Abraham, from God. All is not lost and we know that through Abraham came the lineage to David and through David the lineage to Joseph and in essence to Jesus.

We learn so many things, yet one fact remains, Abraham (Abram) doubted. It resonates with me and it should resonate with all of us that we as a fallen people can not possibly understand the mind of God. God entrusts man to carry on His will and man in turns often fails. Even those who are considered by scripture to be righteous.

Promises to Abraham:

  1. Fear not (echoes what the angel Gabriel told Mary – “Fear not…”)
  2. The Word of God came to Abram
  3. A servant would not be his heir but his own flesh and blood.
  4. “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15:5)
  5. Genesis 15:18 “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.”
  6. God’s promise and blessings were to be upon Isaac who would be blessed with a huge lineage as well. (Isaac’s name would be changed to Israel and the Twelve Tribes of Israel was his heritage.)

God’s Promises To Abraham

God’s promises to Abraham still come even though Abram did not wait! While it is difficult for us to understand this since our ways are so different now, it was acceptable back then to take on other “wives.” Sarai his wife told him to sleep with her slave, Hagar and Abram agreed.
God protected Hagar because she carried the son of Abraham. The angel appeared to her in the desert and told her she would name her son Ishmael.

This is one of the hardest things for me to read, that Abram who heard directly from God did not wait upon the Lord. Friends, how often do we do this? Not wait even though we know we should? This is something to meditate upon and journal. The entire section of the Bible that deals with Abraham and his life is filled with mishap, sometimes lies and always forgiveness from God.

The promises to Abraham include Abraham’s request, God agreed to bless Ishmael He would be the father of twelve rulers and he agreed to make him into a great nation.
But God’s covenant was for Abraham and the blessings would ultimately fall upon Isaac (Israel).

We learn about God’s ways as He “cleans” house by destroying Sodom and Gomorrah.

God’s judgment is always rooted in truth and righteousness.

The key in these scriptures for me is to wait upon the Lord. Remembering that His time is not our time.

Mary Mother of Jesus

Mary Mother of Jesus | Mary, Mother of Jesus is known throughout humanity, nations and time. We can learn so much from her! Most Christians know her name and read about her in the Bible. | #podcast #christianpodcast #MadonnaMary Mother of Jesus – Episode 97

Mary, Mother of Jesus is known throughout humanity, nations and time. We can learn so much from her! Most Christians know her name and read about her in the Bible. She receives a staring role in the New Testament that begins with humble roots, becomes elevated by her, “Yes,” to the Angel, Gabrielle – the spokesperson for Almighty God and culminates in the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Thanks to our sponsor, Bridgestone Academy.  Learn more information at HomeschoolAcademy.com

Why are we discussing Mary – as I record this it isn’t anywhere near Christmas when people consider Mary’s part in redemption history as they set out a Nativity scene perhaps to commemorate the birth of Christ. Yet, I believe that Mary is more than that and we need to take a closer look. She is a kindred spirit. She suffered as we suffer, she felt compassion, loved, trusted God and she is our example.

Mary is known by many names, she is known as Mary Mother of Jesus, she is known as the Virgin Mary, as Theotokos in Greek  -Mary Mother of Jesus or in Easter Christianity and the Latin translation is Mother of God or God’bearer

Yet, while the Bible talks so little of Mary. We know her by her attributes:

  • She was a willing servant
  • She trusted God
  • Mary Obeyed God’s call
  • Mary had great suffering in her life

Can you imagine being a poor girl and learning that you were chosen by God for a great task? As a young Jewish girl, Mary must have learned as all the children did that they were awaiting a Messiah, a Savior to free them from Roman rule. She learned the Old Testament and she must have known about Isaiah and the prediction that a young virgin would bear a son, and he would be named Emmanuel which means God with us. Read all of Isiah 7 but the verse I will read to you is at follows and begins in verse 10-15

Emmanuel – God is With Us: Isiah 7: 10-15

When Mary was approached by the angel she didn’t say – “I’m sorry you’ve got the wrong person, didn’t you take a wrong turn at a castle somewhere?” No – she said, “Let it be done to me according to your Word.” She said yes.

How often do we feel like God asks us to do something and we are conflicted. As I’ve shared with you its happened to me often. Yet, Mary was from a poor and humble family. Luke 1:38

The Infancy Narrative is in the Scriptures and you can read the entire verses in Luke 1:1-50 read this in your Bible and think about the words and what they mean. How can you apply this to your life? Luke 1:26-45 especially announces the birth of Jesus to Mary by the angel Gabriel. He was sent by God, and Mary humble servant said, “Yes.” She then visited her cousin Elizabeth. She was unselfish. And the visit turned out to be a blessing when Elizabeth greeted Mary. “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” (Luke 1:42)

Mary Filled with the Holy Spirit: Responded with, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” Luke 1:46-47  Mary needed a Savior, and her son was the Savior.

For many of us these verses are so familiar and if they are not for you – go back and revisit them, take your time, journal about them. While they are often read around Christmastime, it is so important we take time now to study them now.

God sent His Son for us – and God picked a humble lady. Now, Joseph’s lineage we read is from the house of David with a direct lineage to Abraham, this is very important and not the topic of today’s podcast. However, know that because of prophecy and the fulfillment of prophecy

First known miracle -wedding feast of Cana – do what he tells you.
Mary reminds us that Jesus serves our needs – but we must be obedient to Him.

She was present in the days before Pentecost and she was there at the foot of the cross

A woman of great courage and self-giving – went to visit Elizabeth to help her!

Isaiah 7:14 speaks of the Virgin Mother of Emmanuel
“Virgin-Mother of Emmanuel”: “Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel.”

Emmanuel means God with us

The child – Jesus, would be a

Luke 1:46-49 – My soul magnifies the Lord …

Greatest of all saints – chosen by God, prepared by God to be the mother of his son – His divinity at the Council of Nicea was determined by defining his mother. Was Jesus half man and half God – God his human form from May and his Divinity from God or was he fully man and God – all as one?
Mary was called Mother of God –

Mary was immaculate by an act of God at the time she was conceived so that she would be sinless and therefore a worthy vessel

God gave Mary so many wonderful attributes of Grace
She is the symbol of hope, obedience, and pointing us constantly to her son – do what he tells you. Her life is a witness to the Glory of Jesus

Is Mary Mother of Jesus a Kindred Spirit?

Image Attribution:
Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato – http://www.bridgemanartondemand.com/art/104827/The_Madonna_in_Sorrow

Mindful Kids

Mindful Kids Being present for your kids and having mindful kids is the topic of today's podcast. The last episode of One More Child Podcast we discussed mindfulness and being present. | #podcast #christianpodcastMindful Kids – Teaching Kids To Be Present Episode 15

Being present for your kids and having mindful kids is the topic of today’s podcast. The last episode of One More Child Podcast we discussed mindfulness and being present.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. check out the latest book One More Child on Amazon, to receive a free chapter check out MediaAngels.com for more information.

*Please note: the education system has hijacked the term mindfulness to make it into an new age propaganda, filling kids heads with nonsense, asking kids to “empty their minds,” so the system can fill it with the negative (to a Christian, anyway.) This show focuses on the now – with God, as a Christian. It is in no way linked to anything not of God, as God created our minds and God is in this present moment.

God made us different in the sense of likes and dislikes, personality and how we demonstrate our love for each other. So many things in our lives are distracting and our focus is on our phones, the things on our to-do list and what we need to do tomorrow. We miss the details of today.

Look around when you go out to dinner. People are on their phones instead of talking to each other. No one is talking or laughing or discussing the events of the day.

Mindful Kids Know:

  1. You are there for them now.
  2. We care (show it instead of just using words).
  3. To be present. Do not judge or criticize.
  4. Learn to appreciate the now.

Our kids remember things differently than we do as adults. When my children get in trouble I often ask them if they know why they are in trouble. Many times they do not know or the reason they say the wrong reason. This is one of those areas you can work through and help them to understand the real reason.

We should teach our kids to live each day as if it is our last. Do this exercise with your kids.

What would you do if this was your last day?

  1. What would you do or say?
  2. Don’t worry about the future.
  3. Enjoy each thing – taste, drink and enjoy the sights around you.
  4. Appreciate your environment.
  5. Focus on each other.
  6. Appreciate the moment.
  7. Realize God is in this present moment.

 

Model Christian

Model Christian | Being a model Christian requires responsibility, but what does a model Christian look like? Is it someone who talks the talk or walks the walk. As a Christian, you can no longer act like a heathen and there is a standard to uphold – or is there? | #podcast #christianpodcast Model Christian Episode 97

Being a model Christian requires responsibility, but what does a model Christian look like? Is it someone who talks the talk or walks the walk. As a Christian, you can no longer act like a heathen and there is a standard to uphold – or is there?

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. check out the latest book One More Child on Amazon, to receive a free chapter check out MediaAngels.com for more information.

Some believe that becoming a Christian requires a statement of faith – and acceptance of the Lord in a prayer, a declaration, perhaps an altar call they believe it is a one-time thing that is forever and there is never anything you can do after that that alters that commitment if it is done willingly and with an open heart. Others believe that the model Christian is someone who honors the church teachings, receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation. Of frequent confessions and attending church on Sunday. Some think it is a combination of the two and others may think just being good is the way to be a model Christian.

So many people who have been held in high esteem – those who are pastors or tele-evangelists have fallen in horrible ways – those who believed they had the answers were left shocked and hurting. Friends, we can never place our hope in man – no matter how eloquently he/or she speaks, We read about failings each and every day,  whether it is about financial sin or sexual sin – it is a betrayal not only in their own life but in those whom they serve.

Our hope is only in God. The model Christian examples are given so beautifully in the story of the first person to die for his faith.

We learn in the scriptures that being a model Christian has a price, we can no longer be the same. Being a disciple means living a life that models Christ, that is selfless, generous, charitable to our neighbors, some have even suffered for their faith and were put to death. There are places even today where those who are Christians are killed in the same way as in the time of the apostles. The first martyr we read about is Stephen. He was sharing the truth – what it meant to be a model Christian – but his words infuriated the Sanhedrin –just like when Jesus shared the truth and the teaching was too hard for them to believe.

Read and study all of Acts 7:29-70.

As he was dying he echoed the words of Christ – he cried, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,”

Jesus said in Luke 23:46  Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last.

He also said “Lord do not hold this sin against them” an echo of the Lord who said,

(Acts 7:60) and in Luke 23:34  Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

Stephen paid the price of being a model Christian – he did not back down and say, “Oh, sorry, didn’t mean to offend you, just forget everything I said and have a nice day.”

Instead, Stephen is a true model of anyone who wants to follow Christ, who wants to be one with the Lord – who wants to know that we pay a price by being a Christian. Just think of what it is like today if you believe as I do that life begins at conception – you will be shouted down for being pro-life. You will be called all kinds of vile names, you will be accused of being narrow-minded and a stupid. What price do we pay to do what is right?

Christians are still the majority but we have been silenced and until recently have not stood up for ourselves but this is no longer true. We have been shut out and shunned but we are now called in a greater way in a world of darkness to stand up for our faith, our beliefs and for our Christ. Revelations 22:12 states, Whatever the price we pay, we are assured in the end to receive recompense according to our deeds. Behold, I am coming soon. I bring with me the recompense I will give to each according to his deeds.

We pray –

Dear Lord Jesus, come, please come. We are at a time when evil is considered good and good evil and I know it is much the same as in your day the time you walked the earth. We as Christians need model Christians as examples to us – we need saints of today that will encourage us to be all that we can be and to be fearless to stand up for our beliefs and call evil – evil and good – good. Lord fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we can have the grace to do what is right. Dear Lord, we ask for the following prayer requests… please hear our prayers and answer them if it is in your perfect will and we pray this in your precious Name, Amen.

 

 

 

Mindfulness – Being In The Present Moment

Mindfulness | By a God-incident, I recently stumbled upon an audio book on mindfulness, being in the present moment. It spoke to me in a way that I can not describe. | #podcast #christianpodcastMindfulness – Being In The Present Moment – Episode 14

By a God-incident, I recently stumbled upon an audio book on mindfulness, being in the present moment. It spoke to me in a way that I can not describe. Parts of the book had cautioned that we might not be happy with what we were hearing, but truthfully I was praising God for the God-incidence in the ability to hear something I craved.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. check out the latest book One More Child on Amazon, to receive a free chapter check out MediaAngels.com for more information.

When we are not mindful:

  1. Info overload: We are overcome by so much information in our lives and being in the moment is something most people struggle with, myself included
  2. Restless sleep When it was quiet my racing mind caused my thoughts to become scattered. In this podcast we will discuss Are you one of those people who are exhausted but can’t sleep because your mind is racing?
  3. Arriving at a destination when you had no idea how you got there.
  4. Praying and not remembering what you were saying.
  5. Talking to someone and not sure what is being said.

Our minds seem to have a life of their own and we are overcome with thoughts many that are negative in our lives. Mindfulness allows you to be in the moment and I will share with you how important this is for anyone who professes Christianity.

Why am I sharing this with you?

  1. It can make you really understand yourself.
  2. It is not psycho mumbo jumbo – it makes sense in that we are trusting God.
  3. It can change your life by not allowing negativity (yourself or others towards you) from affecting you or letting it rule your life.
  4. It can help you to corral overwhelming thoughts
  5. It can make you happier!

Sounds like a win-win!

Mindfulness is a psychological term for what is truthfully a Christian principle.

  1. The Lord lives forever
  2. God is here in this present moment.
  3. God was not created.
  4. God is eternal.
  5. Grace abounds where God is – and He is now – He is here.

Simple right?

Some basic tenants of mindfulness is to be in the present moment without judgment or criticism.

Movie – Percy Jackson – ate the lotus flower and didn’t realize how much time has gone by –

Our lives are wasted by negative thoughts. What is going to happen today, tomorrow, twenty years from now? This happened to me when I learned my oldest was learning delayed I couldn’t imagine what his life would be like with a handicap and NOW I know that I worried for no reason. All that  I imagined was false.

Being mindful is taking charge of harmful thoughts and realizing that what MIGHT come also might not come. Does this mean we never think or plan – absolutely not! Of course, we do, however, we must realize the reality that our thoughts do not define who we are.

  • Just for today realize that God is here, now. It is a grace-filled moment!
  • If you have trouble sleeping because your mind is racing, get up – get a drink of water, go to the restroom – lay back down, and pray. Thank God for the time to pray for someone else. Sometimes that little bit of movement helps.
  • When you feel like you are in a situation (thoughts overwhelming you or life) breathe. Recently – share DMV story –
  • Realize you are NOT your thoughts –if there are negative thoughts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presence of God

Presence of God | For a Christian the presence of God is an amazing feeling and even without that feeling we have faith that God is with us always. How we understand God’s presence? We will look at the Scriptures for clarification during this episode. | #podcast #christianpodcast #christianPresence of God – Episode 96

For a Christian, the presence of God is an amazing feeling and even without that feeling, we have faith that God is with us always. How do we understand God’s presence? We will look at the Scriptures for clarification during this episode.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. check out the latest book One More Child on Amazon, to receive a free chapter check out MediaAngels.com for more information.

The ascension of our Lord is talked about in the Scriptures and often we don’t give it more than a passing thought. Yes, Jesus lived, died and rose from the dead, yes Jesus ascended into heaven after forty days – yet this was the first time after the birth of Jesus that the presence of our Lord was no longer physically present. His apostles felt what we feel today – we can’t just turn around and say, “Lord, what do we do?”

We have spent our entire life in this way. Each one of us has a different story about how we came to learn about God. Maybe you chanced on listening to this podcast and you don’t really know God or believe if He even exists. Maybe you learned about God from your parents and are not sure He is real enough to you – maybe you believe but still, have many questions.

Each of us didn’t know God at one time of our lives – we all began one day at a time, one Bible story or Scripture verse or someone sharing the God news about God that really loved Him and wanted to share what God had done in their life. Faith is a gift if you have faith never discount it or consider it unimportant – you have faith because God has called you by name. You grow in your faith because you take the time to pray, spend time with God in quiet, read the Bible, go to church, surround yourself with Christian readings, or podcasts. You grow your faith by believing but also by doing something about your belief.

Think about this – our lives even those who are not Christians surround two major Biblical events. Christmas (the birth of Christ) and Easter (the resurrection of Christ). Even if the world has tried to secularize these holidays (Winter Break, Spring Break, etc.) we Christians really understand the meaning and significance. Our lives have been impacted by these events and especially the ascension of Christ into heaven.

I’d love for you to Read Acts 1 yourself – especially Acts 1: 1:12

The power of the Holy Spirit was poured on the apostles in order for them to be given the strength to be witnesses at a time that being a Christian was a death sentence – but I love this part when the Angels – two men in white garments questioned the apostles and said, “Why are you looking at the sky?” – in other words, get going you have work to do!

They carried on their mission. Do we carry on our missions in the same way – do we make haste as those in the scriptures do to share the words of everlasting life? They were like us – men and women living their lives, eating, sleeping trying to make the best of things. They had the one advantage over us – they had witnessed Christ in their midst!

Yet, we are just like them in many ways. We have our doubts, our trials, our problems that bog us down daily. But we also have hope and without hope, the human condition is doomed. We have hope for a better tomorrow, hope that everything will work out fine, hope that God is with us today – He is here in this present grace-filled moment to give us encouragement and the blessings to face even our harshest challenges. We are called in our baptism to be the witnesses of Christ’s love and providence. We are in a time that shuns all that is holy – a time where evil is called good and good evil. Now, friends, it is our time to be that light for a hurting world.

Call To Action:

  1. Spend time in prayer and quiet with the Lord.
  2. Seek the Word of God – fill yourself up with the wonderful words of the Bible each and every day.
  3. Ask the Lord how He wants to use you each day. Is there someone lonely that needs a smile or a helping hand? All little things are mighty if they are done with a spirit of love and humility for God.

Some people just look at things as in the “what is in it for me,” and never try to look at how they can bless others. Maybe your burdens are too heavy right now to care for others – but if that is the case, that my friends is how the Lord is using you – to minister to your needs or those of your family. Selfishness is never a right but it can be changed and it happens slowly and with purpose.

Sometimes we get complacent, God doesn’t need me He has so many others so much more capable (friends, this is what goes through my head when I get ready to sit down and podcast). Why am I doing this – I am no one – why me Lord, why me? And, the answer I get is that He asked and I said yes.

What are you saying yes to? Have you prayed and said, Lord how can I help, or are you standing around looking up into the sky and wondering where are you, Lord?

He is here. He is now. This my dear friends is a grace-filled moment… understand it and believe.

Dear Lord, I thank you for all that you did during your time on earth so that your actions, your words, your miracles, and even your death and resurrection could be read about so many years later. I thank you for the gift of faith, for ascending into heaven so that through not only Baptism of water but also of the Holy Spirit we can be filled with the grace to share the good news with others. Dear Lord, I ask you today how you would use me, please Lord help me to understand your will for me and the ways I can let others know more about your goodness and mercy. Dear Lord, I pray for the following intentions … please hear my prayers and help me in the answers, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Faith, Family And Holy Spirit

Faith & Family | When my faith in the Lord grew I knew I was a new creation, but I didn't realize the effect of faith and family as a life-changing event. In this episode, I will share how my faith in the Lord caused my husband and I to grow from trusting ourselves to trusting God. | #Podcast #christianpodcast #faithandfamily Faith and Family Episode 13

When my faith in the Lord grew I knew I was a new creation, but I didn’t realize the effect of faith and family as a life-changing event. In this episode, I will share how my faith in the Lord caused my husband and I to grow from trusting ourselves to trusting God.

Sponsor:

I often recommend that people keep a prayer diary for many reasons, but one of the biggest is to see your spiritual growth. We did all the right things as a family. We went to church together, we prayed before meals, we prayed each evening before bedtime. We attended religious retreats and went to spiritual teachings at Church. We thought we were on the right track in our lives and with God.

I loved the Lord – I had followed Him my entire life – but I soon realized as my faith grew that I was following Him on my terms. Wow. That was a time to sit back and to re-evaluate my life.

It came after becoming aware of the workings of the Holy Spirit not only in the time of the apostles when Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would teach them all things. But also today in our lives today. (A friend shared this with me – she said I could kneel beside my bed and ask for an infilling of the Holy Spirit!)

(John 14:26) But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

God had other plans for me – and I was invited to hear a friend’s teaching on one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I soon remembered reading in the Bible the gifts of the Holy Spirit which are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. This teaching was called a Life in the Spirit Seminar.

I wanted all of the gifts! I wanted the Lord to come into my life and guide me as He did the apostles. My heart was ready and so was I! The Lord surrounded me with committed Christians in my homeschool friends and in my extended friends that I met through Church. We were invited to a Bible Study and guess what we studied? Acts of the Apostles. All of these things combined changed my life.

I was more understanding as a parent, more loving and kind. I was calmer and my husband noticed a change in me, as well as my parents who lived nearby. In fact, my parents were so amazed at the change they saw in me and then my husband they wanted to learn more so they attended a Life in the Spirit Seminar to learn more about the Holy Spirit and soon joined a Charismatic Prayer Group.

Faith is contagious when you share the good news and share your faith not so much with words but with actions. When I wrote my book I thought my story was about the decision my husband and I made to extend our family size, but as I continued to write the book and the pieces came together, I realized it was a story about my growth in faith and the outcome of this faith in our decision to have more children. I know I’ve said this before on this podcast that I can’t imagine life without my youngest three children.

The fabric of our lives are known by the Lord, but not by us – we can’t predict our futures, and for that, I am truly thankful. We – you and I get to explore our lives as we live them each day. Praise God that we opened our hearts to more of God’s love – that we believed the Gospel message that the Holy Spirit was instrumental in changing our hearts!

Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit | The Holy Spirit is one of the greatest gifts from God! All we have to do is look at the Gospels and rejoice that God did not leave us alone, He sent His Spirit to be with us always. | #christianpodcast #podcast #faithinGodThe Holy Spirit – A Gift From God – Episode 95

The Holy Spirit is one of the greatest gifts from God! All we have to do is look at the Gospels and rejoice that God did not leave us alone, He sent His Spirit to be with us always.

Jesus promises the apostles that the Holy Spirit will not only guide them but teach them everything they need to know about what they should do. (John 14:26) But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

There were so many questions the new Christians had at the time. Some of them were life-altering. It is the same with us as Christians. What is acceptible for us to do, and what appears to be a gray area? This is an age-old question and one that even the most committed Christians will argue about. Is it okay to drink if it is socially? Should you go to church – or can you just pray at home? Do you need to go to confession or can you just pray and ask the Lord to forgive you? Some of these answers are specifically found in the Bible and we are blessed that we have this available to us. It is after all thousands of years since our Lord died and rose from the dead to give us everlasting life.

Jesus gave the disciples strict instructions, to preach the Good news to all nations. He did not explain how the Gentiles should live their lives. At the time that these questions came up it was about 50AD and it had been about twenty years since the Lord’s resurrection when he sent them the Holy Spirit to guide them. Yet they were meeting to decide what to do and make the right decisions. They decided the Gentiles needed to follow limited Jewish laws.

The Holy Spirit guides our church today – when men fail – those in leadership it is because they have forgotten the Gospel message. They have failed to take it to their hearts and ask the Lord in every circumstance, big and small. Recently a megachurch suffered a scandal due to mismanagement of funds among other accusations. It is always newsworthy and always disheartening when these things happen. Often there are coverups – those who bring accusations are falsely punished, excommunicated and worse. Their reputations are ruined and they face legal consequences. All of this could be avoided by following the simple instruction from the Lord in Matthew 28:19, “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.”

Why do we forget about the Holy Spirit? Because we are distracted by our schedules, by the things of this world, by those who do not mean nearly as much to our eternal life as the Lord. How can we make disciples of all nations when we can’t even manage our own household? Friends, we must rely on the infilling of the Holy Spirit and ask Him to come into our lives today. To live within us and to guide us!

What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit? They are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

True story – how the Lord lead me to the Charismatic renewal within the Catholic Church. You can pray for an infilling today!

Dear Lord, we praise you for this time together to think about you and to worship you – we thank you for your gift of the Holy Spirit the third person of the Trinity. Come Holy Spirit Come and fill the hearts of the faithful! Dear Lord, I ask you to allow those listening today to understand the power of the Holy Spirit and how it can help them in their life. Give them the gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Dear Lord help us to realize that the Holy Spirit is here to guide us and to help us in our daily walk with you. If we have a need or a worry allow the Holy Spirit to fill our heart and guide us. Allow us to test all spirits that they are holy and righteous and do not allow us to be deceived by the evil one. Dear Jesus, thank you for listening and please hear and answer the following prayer requests:

We pray this in Jesus precious Name, Amen.

Vasectomy Reversal Reality

Vasectomy Reversal Reality | Open to life was a term I never heard of before but that became the outcome when the vasectomy reversal reality hit. | #podcast #christianpodcast #vasectomyreversalVasectomy Reversal Reality – Episode

Open to life was a term I never heard of before but that became the outcome when the vasectomy reversal reality hit. Being open to life described our openness to more children in our family as well as a realization that life is precious and that means all life. The born and the unborn. Children are considered a blessing–or they should be considered a blessing!

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels and the book, One More Child – download a free chapter at MediaAngels.com

In my book, One More Child there are nine chapters that signify each month of pregnancy. One focuses specifically on the event leading us to a vasectomy reversal as well as the reality that came with it.

Life isn’t easy – it is messy. There are things that happen each and every day that challenge even the most faithful. And this is what happened in my life. I go into this more in my book, but suffice it to say that I was not always open to more children. In fact, my husband and I made the decision to have a vasectomy – but later, after I believe my eyes were open to the love and providence of what God has in store for my life, my husband had a Vasectomy reversal.

A vasectomy seems to be a much easier choice for most families than a vasectomy reversal. One gets praise and wide approval while the other is looked upon with disdain. Even the doctor who was scheduled to do the procedure wasn’t in favor! Friends, if you are a parent I get it – we are tired, we have so much going on in our lives, and kids are expensive! So, why do it? In our case, it was a decision of obedience. We felt that the Lord was leading us in this direction. We wanted to be open to whatever God had for our lives and that included in our ability to have children.

Vasectomy Reversal Reality vs. Myths

Reality vs. Myth #1 

Most families can afford a vasectomy but not a vasectomy reversal. While this is true to some extent there is much that can be said with research! We priced the reversal and found that it was going to cost over $10K including travel. That meant leaving our family and telling our extended family, our babysitters, something we were not prepared to do! It ended up costing us a little under 2K with a local doctor only two hours away. Some people have lowered the cost by offering to pay cash.

Reality vs. Myth #2

Recovery is long. It depends on the person, but our situation had my husband back at work after the weekend. He is owner of a construction company and ordered not to lift anything heavy – which he did not, but his recovery was relatively quick.

Reality vs. Myth #3 

Vasectomy reversals don’t always work. While this is true for some, it was not in our case. Even though it had been ten years, we have three more children. We do have one friend whose reversal was unsuccessful, however, they experienced great peace of mind after the procedure was completed, and that is true success. One more thing – for us, it worked rather quickly. I was pregnant with months of the procedure. For others, it may take a full year or longer.

Reality vs. Myth #4

Vasectomy Reversals are required as a Christian. This is an untruth. My situation is a long story – which lead me to a book for others who struggle as I did. However, I do not believe if you had a vasectomy you must have a vasectomy reversal. It is between you and God and your pastor. Most Christian pastors have opted for vasectomies in their own life. As a Catholic, it is not permitted, and therefore confession and speaking to your pastor is important. If you believe God is leading you to a vasectomy reversal, speak to your spouse!

Vasectomy reversal to us meant to encourage more kids. I realize that a big family is expensive, but I have watched our own situation with five children and the downturn of the economy. How was I going to pay for college for my youngest three? The Lord provided for the youngest two who opted for a college with a scholarship! (Thanks to Jean Burk with CollegePrepGenius.com/podcast – listen in if you want to learn more).

Big families allow us to become less focused on self-centered activities. We had to think before we headed out to eat, or took a vacation. It wasn’t easy grocery shopping with all the kids, and even with two older and three younger, it was still a challenge. It meant trading in my car for a conversion van and then an SUV. It meant sacrifice. The things of this world – those worldly things are short lived. However love and family are forever or for as long as we are on this earth.

Yes – love and family may mean a sacrifice to some, but not to me. And, if you consider it a sacrifice is short lived. Kids grow up so quickly and when they are gone, you will miss them! I tell parents all the time to hug your babies!

The decision to be open to life opened up questions from complete strangers. Some of our friends who pushed how we had the big age span between our two oldest children and our three youngest also shared their desire for more children and opted for a vasectomy reversal as well.  I pray that my story is an inspiration and not a condemnation. I also pray that the Lord leads you to peace, not matter what your decision. Until we meet again.

Overcoming Religious Persecution

Religious Persecution | Who would have thought that religious persecution would come to the shores of America? We know about persecution happening to all faiths in foreign lands, but on our soil? | #podcast #christianpodcastOvercoming Religious Persecution – Episode 94

Who would have thought that religious persecution would come to the shores of America? We know about persecution happening to all faiths in foreign lands, but on our soil? In this episode, we take a brief look at the persecution of the church in the first century and how our hope rests in Christ. He has Risen!

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels and the book, One More Child – download a free chapter at MediaAngels.com

When we read the scriptures after the death of Jesus we learn that the Jews who believed in Christ and ultimately were called, “Christians” were persecuted in ways we can’t even imagine. Religious persecution came in the form of abuse, verbal and physical. It came in the shunning of people, in crowds shouting, and so much more. Yet every time we read about the religious persecution we are given a sign of hope and reassurance that only comes from the Holy Spirit. While the church thrived in these early years it was in the midst of adversity.

When Christianity broke away from Judaism the religious and state authorities targeted these believers on both sides. Paul and Barnabas were expelled from Antioch in Pisidia and this was a form of religious persecution. You can read the full version in Acts 12:25-13:52.

Barnabas and Saul Are Sent Off On A Mission For God:

  1. Barnabas and Saul finished their mission and returned to Jerusalem
  2. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.
  3. After they fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

Religious Persecution In Antioch:

  • On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and read from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.” 
  • Standing up, Paul read the Scriptures and then rebuked them.

As we know the people asked for a King and he gave them Saul from the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled for 40 years – and as we know the scriptures talk about how Saul and his failures and that of his sons – then David became King, and verse 22 states:

And it continues – Jesus brought us the message of salvation and the people of Jerusalem and their rules condemned him which was a fulfillment of the prophets – they had no crime to try him with – yet they crucified Him anyway.

The Answer to Religious Persecution: 

The answer to religious persecution is the example Paul and Barnabas gave us – they were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit. They were not angry or resentful, they did not fear and despair. Why? Because God was with them and in them.

We know that true joy – the kind that surpasses all understanding comes from the one true God!

The Romans did not offer their citizens religious liberties and Christians would be killed for rejecting the pagan faith of the Romans. And this is happening on our own shores today. If you want to stand up for your faith you will be persecuted. It has become more difficult to take a religious exemption for your beliefs.

Religious Persecution Today:

The liberties of Christians have been attacked worldwide, but now on our own shores. Turn on the news and you can hear this on a daily basis 24/7. If you are a conservative you are narrow-minded, bigoted or worse. Many Christian speakers have been run off of college campuses, they are not allowed to present an opposing view in a place where we should be able to express our differences. Political parties are at each other’s throats. Our rights to claim religious exemptions are being thwarted. Did you know that it is extremely difficult to get a religious exemption – but you can get a medical exemption?

But friends – we have hope! We should not worry or fear. Just like Paul and Barnabas whose lives were on the line, they trusted in the providence of God. John 10:28 – I give them eternal life and they shall never perish! That is what I pray for us.

Dear Lord – you gave us a wonderful example with the holy men and women who preached the good news. You promised not to abandon us, you promised to provide, you promised to give us eternal life. I am grateful Lord for your providence, for your protection and for your Word that remains with us in the Holy Scriptures. Thank you that we have The Bible to read, to learn from and to enjoy. I ask you, Lord, to protect our religious freedoms and our human rights – of the born and unborn. I ask you to watch over us – our families – and our friends. I ask you, Lord, to hear the prayers we pray today … please Lord provide for all we pray for, and I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Family Size Struggles

Family Size Struggles | Family size is something you discuss at different times in your life. And, if you have other struggles in your life it may add additional pressure to your decisions. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcastFamily Size Struggles Episode 11

Family size is something you discuss at different times in your life. And, if you have other struggles in your life it may add additional pressure to your decisions. Have you struggled with family size? In this episode, we delve into this topic with faith as our foundation.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels and the book, One More Child – download a free chapter at MediaAngels.com

Topics to consider when discussing family size:

  1. Families struggle over family size.
  2. Family dynamics are considered.
  3. Added pressure from well-meaning family or friends.
  4. Harmful effects of birth control on women. Dr. Janet Smith
  5. Seek outside counsel – pro-life doctor and clergy.

Take responsibility for your decisions about family size. Our faith grows to a point where we want to honor God in everything we do, every decision and every way we can in our lives. We are always under God’s will, but God gives us free will to make our own choices.

 

 

Worthy of Blessings

Worthy of Praise | Are you worthy of blessings? Blessings come to us in different ways and in this episode we will look at the blessings we receive as well as the cost. | #podcast #christianpodcastWorthy of Blessings? Episode 93

Are you worthy of blessings? Blessings come to us in different ways and in this episode we will look at the blessings we receive as well as the cost.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels and the book, One More Child – download a free chapter at MediaAngels.com

In the book of Revelations 5:12 we read the phrase many of us are familiar with, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessings.” I don’t think any of us would argue that Christ is worthy of these blessings. He suffered and died to bring us salvation and this sacrifice has withstood the test of time, The Holy Bible is the most read book in the world.

Who do we consider worthy of blessings in today’s world? Is it someone who has accumulated wealth, someone who is famous or someone we admire for something great they have accomplished? Worthiness is in the eye of those who consider it important. Yet in the time after the Resurrection, we learn that worthiness meant something totally different.

Peter had denied Jesus three times! He was a man that walked with the Lord for many years, who watched him teach, perform miracles and at at the table with him. Yet, this was also a man who did something dishonorable, and he was even warned about it by our Lord – then became a changed man. This change came when he was forgiven.

We read that after the resurrection, the apostles went back to their old way of life and while fishing they noticed a man on the shore — the man asked them if they had caught any fish and they said no. SO he instructed them to throw down their nets yet again (similar to when he first called them to be his apostles). They had fished all night and when morning came they were asked …

Worthy of Blessings

John 21: 1-7

Peter became a new man – he was forgiven! We have hope friends! But with this hope comes the fear and we feel it today. Unborn babies are in even more danger than before with new laws being enacted. Believers who stand up for the rights of the unborn are ridiculed and condemned. Recently a lawmaker did a live stream video of him harassing a lady praying at the sidewalk of an abortion clinic. She was praying for the unborn baby who was about to lose their life – and this man was calling her horrible names and telling her how evil she was.

If you stand for the truth – for the Lord you will be worthy of blessings but also at a price.

When the apostles began to do as Jesus asked they were harassed.

It meant that if you preached in the name of the Lord, you would be condemned by the Sanhedrin – as Jesus was and it was considered an honor.

Read all of Acts from about Acts 5:20-41 -this is where the apostles were captured for preaching and put in jail – when the guards went to get them they found the jail still locked and the men preaching to the crowds.

They rejoiced because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name!

Are we worthy of blessings? Yes, if we are willing to pay the price.

Let’s pray!

Dear Lord God, you are worthy of all praise, all glory, and all honor. I thank you, Lord, for what you have done for me in my life. I love you Lord and I ask that you help me in my faith journey, show me the ways you want me to feed your lambs and tend your sheep. Help me in my process of worthiness and I ask that you walk alongside me each and every day. Make my path straight and righteous Lord! I ask Lord that you hear my prayers for the following people and needs … I praise you, my God, that you hear all of my prayers and answer them as I need them to be answered and I pray this in your Name – Amen.

 

Parenting Under Trial

Parenting Under Trial | Parenting under trial happens to most at some time or another. Parenting, in general, is a skill not for the faint at heart, but when you add a child with some developmentally delayed or ill child the answers can be elusive. | #podcast #christianpodcastParenting Under Trial – Episode 10

Parenting under trial happens to most at some time or another. Parenting, in general, is a skill not for the faint at heart, but when you add a child with some developmentally delayed or ill child the answers can be elusive.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels and the book, One More Child – download a free chapter at MediaAngels.com

Parenting Differently
My husband and I were raised totally opposite and our parenting skills also reflected this in so many ways. I am the disciplinarian and if you are the one in your family then you know you are typically the “fall guy” while the other parent seems to get away without any of the blame.

I am the doer, the researcher, the let’s try this and see if it works because we have a problem. My husband, on the other hand, was oblivious there was even a problem. Having a special son took major patience, something I found myself extremely short on — and my husband had this in droves. he was so patient, so kind, so encouraging. I expected my son to listen to instructions yet wondered at how much he really understood.

Parenting Under Trial

  1. Keeping God around just for emergencies.
  2. Expecting more from our spouse than we are willing to give.
  3. Thinking you know more than your spouse.
  4. Quoting an article or book as an authority.
  5. Undermining your spouse’s discipline.

Parenting with Grace

  1. Pray – pray – pray. Prayer is the answer for everything. Put your children under God’s authority. He will provide.
  2. Parent together discuss first what you would like to do together before you approach your child. Yes, this takes planning.
  3. Realize your spouse does have an opinion and listen. If you disagree explain why with grace and love.
  4. Educate yourself, and share the information you find helpful only if your spouse wants to hear it – or read it himself.
  5. If you disagree with your spouse’s method of parenting or discipline, discuss it later -not in front of the children.

Parenting is a team effort and my husband always says that kids are gamblers. They will take the chance to push the limits

 

Blind Faith vs. Real Faith

Blind Faith vs. Real Faith | Blind faith is not what is required of us. We should question and wonder in our walk with the Lord, but truthfully while we believe without seeing, it is far from blind faith.  #podcast #christianpodcastBlind Faith vs. Real Faith: Episode 92

Blind faith is not what is required of us. We should question and wonder in our walk with the Lord, but truthfully while we believe without seeing, it is far from blind faith. In this episode, we will think back to the time of the Ressurection of Our Lord and what we can learn from the scriptures that can be applied to our lives.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels and the book, One More Child – download a free chapter at MediaAngels.com

Jesus did not call us to blind faith – because he has opened our eyes!

Luke 21-24:

When I think about those who doubted I think about doubting Thomas. I wonder, would I have been any better? I hope the answer is YES!

In John 20:24-29 we read about the way that Jesus appeared to Thomas.

Are we the blessed who have not seen and yet believe? This is something to think about to journal about and to really consider when we look at our lives. In this podcast, I ask a lot of you! And, I’m so happy for all of you who listen, because this is a lesson for us all!

There were many signs and miracles that happened after Jesus rose – and we learn more and more as the story unfolds.

Because of the witness of the faith of the twelve so many people were converted into believers.

In Acts 5: 1-14 we read a tragic story of those who followed but on their terms. They followed half-heartedly and allowed greed to get in the way of blind faith. They wanted to believe, but on their terms, like many of us!

Our faith should grow every day, if we are not going forward we are not just stagnating we are regressing. We see the works of the Lord all around us if we look – even though Jesus rose over two thousand years ago we see the witness of this faith. We see it in the men, women, and children that go to church each week. We see it in those who honor the Lord in their dress and their speech. Who proclaim Jesus and give him all the glory and the honor on the sports field.

We are the people who witness now. How can we do this?

  1. Smile – that goes a long way in letting strangers know we have something special.
  2. Praise God in conversation. Give God the glory. (I share a story about my husband here.)
  3. Tell others what God has done for you, in your life.
  4. Ask others to share their story – I’d love to hear yours!
  5. Tell people the good news – if you see someone is depressed who seems to be without hope ask them about their faith, invite them to church.

Remember to be able to witness we must first, fill up! Are you filled to overflowing with the love of Christ? We are the witnesses as believers. As we gather in prayer, as we gather as a faith community, as we share what the Lord has done for us.

Be sure to spend time this week in prayer and with your journal in recording how your faith has sustained you.

Let’s pray:

We will pray in the Trinity – in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Dear Lord, we thank you for giving us faith – the faith that believes without seeing. Oh, how I would have loved to be with you and talk to you when you lived upon the earth, but Lord, I know that you are more present now, through the Holy Spirit and the graces your death and resurrection have purchased for us sinners. I am so blessed Lord that you opened my eyes to the Christian faith and that you are so ready to deepen my faith if I just ask! Please help me to be a Christian witness to others for your glory, Lord! And, Father God thank you for your love in sending your Son and the Spirit – please hear our prayers … I praise you my God for all you have done and for all you will do in my life, and I pray this in the name of the Almighty God. Amen!

 

Marriage Under Trial

Marriage Under Fire | Marriage under trial happens each day. This can be due to finances, or family issues such as health and in these cases, the pressure just becomes even more difficult. In this episode, we learn the true test is not what you think.| #podcast #christianpodcastMarriage Under Trial – A True Test of Love: Episode 9

Marriage under trial happens each day. This can be due to finances, or family issues such as health and in these cases, the pressure just becomes even more difficult. In this episode, we learn the true test is not what you think.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels and the book, One More Child – download a free chapter at MediaAngels.com

True love can be fleeting or it can last a lifetime. When we meet and fall in love our world seems to change. Our mood lifts, we are happy, and everything is more in life become easy or at least more manageable. Yet there are so many things that can rob our peace and the main one in most marriages is problems with the children. Even the best marriages struggle with different parenting styles or even different opinions on what is important.

Yet I learned the hard way that if I didn’t have open communication with my spouse and patience with my children then there would be a very hard road ahead. I am not a marriage authority, nor have I written any books on the topic, but I can tell you that after being married for almost forty years, I can tell you a thing or two about what works and what does not!

We made some horrible decisions in our marriage that I am not happy about and one of them is deciding on a vasectomy. We thought it would make our life easier and in the long run, we realized it was something we needed to change. There will be a future podcast on this topic.

My husband had ideas that I went along with for the sake of peace. Several were marriage retreats. We attended a marriage encounter, for “good marriages,” and a Cursillo retreat for a deepening of our faith. My husband attended one weekend and I attended the next. This was wonderful in many ways, yet it took me many years to see the fruits.

Marriage Under Trial

  1. Forgetting to put God first in your life, your spouse second in your life – above kids or work.
  2. Thinking you are always right and it is everyone else’s fault.
  3. Holding grudges and failing to forgive.
  4. Not respecting the other person.
  5. Forgetting the romance.

Marriage with Grace

  1. Putting God first in your life, spouse second.
  2. Remembering that you are not in this alone. It is a partnership.
  3. Realizing love means sacrifice.
  4. Forgiveness is key
  5. Dating and rekindling your relationship. Respect your spouse!

Marriage is under attack on a daily basis and we need to pray for the grace to continue on, and to persevere.

The Resurrection

Resurrection | The ressurction is life changing. We know that as Christians our life changed the minute Jesus rose from the dead. This was such a surprise to his apostles! | #podcast #homeschoolpodcastThe Resurrection Life Changing For Christians Episode 91

The resurrection is life changing. We know that as Christians our life changed the minute Jesus rose from the dead. This was such a surprise to his apostles! They didn’t really understand what that meant, but do we? In this episode, we will explore the meaning of the resurrection and how it impacts our lives.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. and the book One More Child available for a limited time with bonuses. You can purchase it on Kindle or Print form on Amazon.

We are currently living in a time when I dread turning on the news. When I listen I feel like this entire world has gone off the deep end. It is so depressing and often the truth is that people have lost their faith. Maybe they never had faith, to begin with! As a Christian, we can be assured that the real story for us doesn’t take place until our life here ends and that friends is the joyous news! The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ changes everything – the resurrection is life changing!

Resurrection is Life Changing!

John 20: 1-10 explained finding the tomb empty.

Can you imagine being in their shoes! Where was He? Where did He go?

Recently I did a series of podcasts on prayer – the prayers that appear to go unanswered and the prayers Jesus always answers. But at times we feel the way the apostles did – we feel lost without our Shephard. Our Shepard is with us always and this proof of the empty tomb that was guarded by the way by the Roman guards! The guards ran away, they knew they were in trouble.

Jesus defeated death.

Jesus lives today.

Paul tells the Colossians in verse 3:1 to seek what is above. Paul tells the Corinthians to throw out the old yeast and bake a fresh batch of dough. Jesus is the new yeast and we are the dough! We are reborn in Christ – through our commitment and through our Baptism of water and the spirit. This is our hope. We can use this message and allow it to bless us and to change our lives. How can our lives change?

  1. Seek what is above. Colossians 3:1 Mystical Death and Resurrection. If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. We are so worn down with what is happening today – when I began this episode I talked about that – we worry about politics, about money, about our kids – we worry without any provocation! Yet we know that Jesus opened the gates of heaven and this life is temporary – we are to look at the things above and if we do and keep our eyes focused we will be so much happier! I promise.
  2. What about 1 Corinthians 5:7 – Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ has been sacrificed. We are to grow in Christ. If we have old yeast the bread will not rise, it will not grow and change it will never be nourishing to our bodies and our souls. Jesus Christ died so that we could have life – we hear that in church often. We must allow the Lord to work in us – and like the bread the kind the raises anyway, you have to punch it down a time or two so that it rises light and fluffy – and sometimes we too are knocked down so that we can rise again.

Do not lose hope! Jesus Christ is risen and we celebrate this each and every day!

Dear Lord Jesus, we thank you for being our paschal lamb, for your sacrifice which opened for us the gates of heaven where we hope to be joyful with you at the end of time. I ask you, Lord, to send your Holy Spirit upon us to open our eyes so that we can look upward, and not dwell on the things that get us down. I thank you, Lord, for the new yeast that will allow us to grow and change and become a new creation in You! I ask a blessing on all those who are listening to this broadcast, for their families, their friends, that you infill them with the joy that surpasses all understanding. We praise you, Lord! And please Lord, hear our prayers as we ask for these specific things:  … we thank you for all you provide for us and pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

God Provides In Our Grief

God Provides | God provides in the midst of our grief. In this episode I give you some real life examples but also ways you can see the hand of God in your life, when you don't think he is here. #podcast #christianpodcastGod Provides In Our Grief

God provides in the midst of our grief. In this episode, I give you some real-life examples but also ways you can see the hand of God in your life when you don’t think he is here.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, Inc. – visit the website at MediaAngels.com

When I learned my son would have struggles all of his life my heart broke and yet I had a husband and a young daughter who needed me, plus my son. When I began the process of contacting doctors and learning to what the next steps were in my son’s remediation it began at the hospital where he received occupational therapy and speech therapy.

My days, every day, revolved around the hospital – three days a week sitting and waiting. And that is where I met a friend, a kindred spirit who was also there for remediation for her daughter. Somehow we connected and spoke and became friends. God sent me friends someone who would understand me, who knew what I was going through and who could be there to encourage me.

God Provides Friends:

We had different ideas about how we would proceed after this first step, she decided to send her daughter to a full-time school for the deaf, while I decided to homeschool. Homeschooling was not something I considered lightly – as a certified teacher after spending years in education classes I never imagined I’d go this route. Obviously, God provided as I successfully homeschooled my son through high school. My network of homeschool friends were amazing, strong Christian women who made me think about my faith, what I really believed and how I would approach our differences in doctrine. Yet, we agreed on one fundamental point and that was salvation through Christ. I will be forever thankful for these ladies and their loving hearts!

It was also at this time that my mother gave me the book, Humane Vitae an encyclical written by the Pope Paul VI. It was written in 1968 and while I read it in the late 90’s today it is considered a prophetic book. It talked about the effect of birth control on people and how this would lead to other things such as promiscuity among families, euthanasia and more. Now we know that one of the leading cause for people who have abortions is a form of birth control or failed birth control. Again, it was prophetic in that birth control did change our culture and the rise of divorce and infidelity is now considered rampant.

God provides for us time and time again, yet when we are in the middle of our grief we can’t often see this help. In retrospect, I can see it so clearly now! I can see the times he lifted me up through the phone calls from a friend who said they were thinking about me, for the friendships he provided and for the love of my husband and support of my family.

God Provides! If you are in the middle of a difficult time in your life I recommend the following:

  • Do not make any major decisions.
  • Pray when you feel at your lowest – even a brief, “Dear God, help me!” is sufficient. God knows.
  • Do not worry about things you can not control. God has this.
  • Look at the small things, each and every day and chose to see the good.
  • Surround yourself with positive people, if this is not in real life – do it with us on Facebook – we are there to support you.

Please realize that our prayers are not always answered in the way that we want or wish they would be answered. I have struggled with this for years and that brings anger and unrest during a time when the situation requires my complete focus. I believe it is the enemies way of getting our eyes off of what is important. I have had many prayers answered and many prayers answered in ways I least expected not always in a way that I wanted! (podcast you may want to listen to here on prayers God answers — and prayers unanswered.)

 

 

Unplanned

Unplanned | My life was going well until something unplanned happened. Life keeps twisting and turning. In this episode, we discuss how we as Christians can stand together when life happens. | #christianpodcast #podcast Unplanned ~ Episode 7

My life was going well until something unplanned happened. Life keeps twisting and turning. In this episode, we discuss how we as Christians can stand together when life happens.

The movie unplanned has had a ripple effect upon the general population both for and against. It is the turn of the conservative media to take ownership of the ability of a well-told story to change hearts. Especially in this case when the movie depicts a true story.

In this film, it is the true story of a young woman, Abby Johnson becomes a clinic director of Planned Parenthood and is vehement about her stance on abortion. She is asked to assist during an abortion and what she sees changes her life forever.

How did this young woman come to the decision that abortion on demand was every woman’s right was such a proponent that she took a job as the clinic director?  We base our decisions on life experiences and for the young, those experiences are limited to what we are told or what we experience.

We are a product of our education and the forces behind education today are fighting for the minds of our children. In my book, “One More Child,” I discuss the decisions I made based upon preconceived notions and ones that were drilled into me as a product of the 1970s. It was a time of freedom from the shackles of the past. Women were equal to men if not better and our decisions should be based on “what feels good,” vs. what is good for our souls.

The decision for my husband and I was not abortion, it was a vasectomy to limit the size of our family. Just like abortion is common so is birth control. And, again I ask — how did we get here? Our story ended happily in that we had, “one more child,” and two more after that as we decided that a vasectomy was not what God intended for our family. A child is not unplanned it the eyes of God.

The silent majority is silent. But no more. This movie has peeled back a layer of what has been kept under wraps for way too long. And there is another layer of truth that the actress in the feature film learned that her mother almost aborted her! She didn’t learn this until she had accepted the role and was on set. Her mother called to chat and ask what she was doing and when she shared she was on set and staring in a role, and the topic of the movie her mother began crying. She told her then that she had a previous abortion and when she was pregnant again went to the clinic to have an abortion but couldn’t go through with the second.

 

‘Unplanned’ Actress Ashley Bratcher Learns Dark Secret: ‘I Was Almost Aborted’

What is an amazing turn of events and one I would call a “God incident.” With God, there are no accidents. There is nothing unplanned.

We as Christians and people of faith cannot be silent any longer. How do we do this?

  1. Pray – pray – pray for an end to abortion (shared a prayer on the podcast)
  2. Support pro-life films.
  3. Vote for pro-life politicians.
  4. Stand at pro-life marches, rallies and at abortion clinics in prayer.
  5. Sign petitions and support pro-life organizations.

It only takes one person and that person is you! We have the ability to change the world, one person, beginning with yourself at a time.

Prayers God Answers

Prayers God Answered | We know God can do anything, and he can answer each and every prayer that we ask. In this podcast, we discuss the prayers God answers and will answer all the time! | #podcast #christianpodcast #GodanswersprayersPrayers God Answers ~ Episode 90

We know God can do anything, and he can answer each and every prayer that we ask. In this podcast, we discuss the prayers God answers and will answer all the time!

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. and the books available:

One More Child  — and A Few Minutes with God 

Like any good father, God has our best interests in mind. When we pray many times it is self-serving, and minor such as; God, help me find a close parking space or Lord help me eat healthily. Our prayers can be urgent, God, help my friend who has cancer, and help those who are lost and don’t know you. These are all good prayers. The first, while self-serving show trust in the Lord to ask Him for everything because we know that every good thing comes from God. It also is important to keep God in our thoughts and what better way than prayer.

The problem comes — not in the praying but in unanswered prayers when we feel that God does not hear us and He will not answer. When we look at the grand scheme of things, God has answered the most important prayers and that is in giving us life, a world to live in and loved ones that make our life complete.

There are important prayers we pray but there are some prayers that are always answered. And, I’m not being presumptuous. God answers them because it is for our own good.

Here are the prayers He answers:

Faith:

If we pray for faith, or for more faith God will give it to us. Faith is what completes our lives, makes it full and makes it worth living. Faith gives us hope, it gives us joy and it gives us an outlook that there is more than what we can see, hear and touch. Faith gives us the belief that God is the Creator and we are the created. God has an everlasting place for us that will never end and we prepare for this place while each and every day. Faith lets us know there is more.

Salvation:

If we pray for salvation it will be a prayer that is answered. First, we pray for faith, because without faith, we can not have salvation. Jesus came, sent by the Father to live, die and rise from the dead to break the bond of sin and open the gates of heaven so that we can have everlasting life. Salvation is what Jesus gives us and we can accept this for free.

Forgiveness:

God will give us the grace of forgiveness if we pray to Him for this specific grace. He will give us the grace to forgive others who have hurt us. Just as we forgive He too will forgive. The Lord’s prayer states: “Forgive us as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.”

More of You Lord:

If we pray to the Lord for Him to give us more of Him – to reveal Himself to us more fully He will answer this prayer. We long for communion with God to know Him better, but we can not even imagine how much more the Lord wants this for us. If we ask God to let us learn more about Him, to learn to love Him more, to spend more time with Him–He will answer this prayer.

Prayer for Guidance:

If we pray to the Lord to help us and guide us He will!

Psalm 25:4-5 –  James 1:5 – John 16:13

Prayer for Perseverance:

Pray to the Lord for the prayer to persevere, to continue on to keep going when we can’t do it any longer. We pray this prayer when we are at the end of our rope–when we really need help. I’ve prayed this prayer and each time God comes through. I was leaving for a trip and had so much to do. I had my book launch another podcast to prepare that was brand new.

Prayer to Share The Good News With Others:

Pray to the Lord to help you share the Gospel and salvation, through Christ with others. The Lord will give you the opportunities and the words you should use. This is a prayer the Lord will answer. God commissioned the apostles to go forth and make disciples of all nations. Matthew 28:18-20

These prayers as you can see are all other serving – not self-serving. They are things that will increase our relationship with the Lord and with our relationship, we can serve Him better.

Friends pray for these specific things, for faith, salvation, forgiveness, relationship with the Lord, guidance, perseverance, and sharing the Gospel – and I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Handling Devastating News

Handling Devastating News | In life, at some point we must deal with handling devastating news - in this episode, I share moments from life and lessons I learned and the hope we all have that today's devasting news is our future praise report! | #christianpodcast #podcastHandling Devastating News – Episode 6

In life, at some point we must deal with handling devastating news – in this episode, I share moments from life and lessons I learned and the hope we all have that today’s devasting news is our future praise report!

I had a boy and a girl – and people, well-meaning kept telling me I shouldn’t have any more children. Everyone has an opinion and they were willing to share it with me. On top of this, my son was not progressing developmentally. I had a background in education with an emphasis in early childhood education and I was interested in playing educational types of games with my children.

Share points about Neal

Slower at walking, smiling, he seemed to understand but in slow motion – everything took longer. When my daughter was born, my once compliant child didn’t want to go to bed. My husband was a saint and came to help. He was very strong-willed and disobedient. Only years later would we really question how much he understood of what we said? His speech was delayed.

Testing – had blood work done at the result of my pediatrician

Told the devasting news that my son had Mosaicism – not life-threatening, praise God but still life-altering. I didn’t have the advice I will now share with you – and this is so important for anyone receiving information that is hard to process.

Tips for handling devasting news.

  1. Take a deep breath, panic is not an option.
  2. God is in this present moment. Not the past and not the future.
  3. Take the time to process the information and ask questions.
  4. Anxiety may come, and tears, allow yourself to grieve.
  5. Turn to prayer – the Name Jesus is powerful.
  6. Surround yourself with loved ones.

List of things NOT to do when handling devasting news:

  1. Decisions. Don’t make rash decisions.
  2. Get good counsel but double check your options.
  3. No major decisions especially if they are life-changing.
  4. Do not turn to drugs or alcohol

I didn’t have this information so soon after we had the results of my son’s diagnosis I went to my regular women’s health appointment where I shared with my doctor the news. He immediately recommended that my husband get a vasectomy. Skipped bc discussion because he knew I didn’t want to be on the drug.

We got counsel – spoke to a visiting pastor giving a retreat and he advised us that this was a good option. It wasn’t.

The good news is while we did go ahead with the procedure and then years later had it reversed, the subject of my book One More Child, I learned that we are ultimately responsible for our decisions and if we get bad advice we need to check with others.

I had three more children that wouldn’t be here if I had allowed the devasting news to shatter my world and rule my life. How many of you have allowed the things that happen in your life to define you? We talk about the things that we have in medical terms. You are not what you have, it is a symptom!

We have one life to live and I plan to live mine to the fullest, to spend each day praising God and all He has done in my life. My son has lived a great life. He is happy, adjusted and he has owned several vehicles and currently drives an SUV and has a job that he likes in the construction industry. He has a healthy bank account and while he still lives at home, it is his choice for now. He has lived in his own place for a time. And I know he can support himself.

I am not a super parent, I am a parent who takes one day at a time. Please share with me ways you have been able to overcome your devastating news and perhaps tips that will help us all!

 

 

 

 

 

Unanswered Prayers

Unanswered Prayer | What happens when we pray and we feel our prayers have been unanswered. In this episode, we tackle the topic of unanswered prayers and what we can do as Christians to hope! | #podcast #homeschoolpodcastUnanswered Prayers – Episode 89

What happens when we pray and we feel our prayers have been unanswered. In this episode, we tackle the topic of unanswered prayers and what we can do as Christians to hope!

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. and the books available:

One More Child  — and A Few Minutes with God 

How many times have you prayed for something and feel like God doesn’t answer your prayers? Recently I’ve been praying and praying and I’ve been surrendering to the Lord, but my mind just won’t stop. Like a spoiled child, I keep asking, “Why?” I feel that there must be something blocking this prayer request.

I’ve come to learn some things that I will reveal to you and this is one of those hard self-teaching moments. Truthfully, many times when I share a podcast about a particular topic I feel that I am talking to myself.

The first thing is we can not do anything to make God greater than He is — we try in our limited words to say things like, “I give you all the glory and the honor.” But nothing we give God changes Him – it changes us.

God gives and we receive. It is a pure gift. My next podcast is on all the prayers that God will answer! However, we need to understand specific truths first.

Truth #1 – God can do anything.

If God wanted to answer our prayers immediately he could. He is God! God created the world, he parted the Red Sea, Jesus healed the blind, he brought the dead back to life – he can answer our measly prayers.

Ephesians 3:20-Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

Corinthians 9:8 – And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

Matthew 7:7 – Prayer and Ask, and it will be given to you; [b]seek, and you will find; [c]knock, and it will be opened to you.

Jesus promised, “The Father will give you whatever you ask in my name” (John 15:16, 16:23)

So, what’s the deal? Keep listening and you will learn what I did as well as working on a better way to pray – not that it means God will answer but that you can rest assured that your unanswered prayers are being heard!

Truth #2 – God doesn’t need to do what I say.

This hit me hard. What? God does hear my prayers – I know He does, and He is a loving God, and He can answer them if He wants to, but He doesn’t have to do it my way. I felt like a little kid as if I was stopping my feet and demanding that He hear and answer – and then when there was no answer I wanted to know why. Sound familiar? If you have a child you know exactly what I mean.

SO what do I do next?

Truth # 3 – Motives

We should look at our motivation in prayer. Was I asking for something that was selfish? Was it self serving? For example, Lord let me win the lottery, or Lord let me do pass a test that I didn’t study for. We ask for something that could be missing for our prayers. We need to pray for things that are a priority. What is it that you really need and look at your motives for this prayer. Without faith we are lost and when we change how we pray it is amazing.  Read Hebrews 11:6 – Jesus leads a man with a child who is possessed to prioritize his prayers for faith overhealing.

“Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22 – faith. That is so important in all of our lives.

Lord, allow me to have more faith even if I have unanswered prayers. We should pray with a clear conscience and Deuteronomy 1:43-45 explains this well. If our conscience is guilty we should confess and get this taken care of, and I don’t need to explain why. We may need spiritual healing and we should ask our pastors for help!

Acts 28:27. and read Jer. 15:18-19

Truth #4 – Forgiveness.

What is your heart telling you? Are you holding grudges against other people, are you forgiving others from our heart? Before praying we should ask the Lord if there is anyone we need to forgive. Matthew 11:5 – “Whenever you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anyone so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.”

When we pray are we holding anything against anyone if so we must forgive them. I’ve done several podcasts on forgiveness.

Forgiveness — and Asking for Forgiveness

Yes – we should ask ourselves if we are in sin, a great sin we need to know that these need to be taken care of before we can expect God to answer our prayers.

Truth #5 – We should pray without ceasing and always hope.

Do I keep asking God for my unanswered prayer? Why not – if our motivation is good and if we in good standing with the Lord, we pray and we should not stop praying. Especially if you’ve asked yourself the questions about motivation and forgiveness.

 Please let me caution you, there is no magic formula. There isn’t any guarantee however, we have faith, we must have faith, we must pray for faith. We must ask the Lord for the words to use in prayer. The Lord will help us! We must have hope friends, without hopes we cannot be live.

Let’s pray.
Dear Lord we ask for additional help for our unanswered prayers – we know you hear us – we know you can answer all of our prayers, we know you want what is best for us – but, Lord we are still hurting and still in need of your answers. Lord, please give me the words to pray, not only now for those who are listening but also in the future for when I ask for a particular answer to prayer. Lord help me, help me to look at my motives, I want purity of motives Lord – I want to honestly ask in my prayer. God if my motives are not pure, please show me and allow me to see this, please bring to mind people I need to forgive. I want what you want Lord, and I don’t know what that is but you know. Please give me hope to know that you will hear and answer! Dear Lord, I pray for the following: ……….. and I ask that if it is in your perfect will that you answer my prayers but either way Lord, I want to be obedient to your will. I thank you, Lord, for my unanswered prayers because I will thank you and praise you in all things. I also ask Lord that you give me faith, that you fill me to overflowing with your hope and the peace that surpasses all understanding and I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen!

 

Marriage With Children

Marriage and Children | I didn’t dream of marriage with children in the sense of planning for this day, yet when it came I was open and excited to the possibilities. Marriage Tips | #podcast #christianpodcast #marriageMarriage with Children – Happily Ever After Episode 5

I didn’t dream of marriage with children in the sense of planning for this day, yet when it came I was open and excited to the possibilities. Many of you listening are married – and perhaps some of you are considering marriage. Each of us has a different story and I’m sure it is unique to your situation.

Sometimes our expectations are not what we hope, and sometimes they are greater than anything we could possibly dream. In my case, it was the latter. This man that God brought into my life was amazing in every way. I was undeserving and truly blessed at the same time.

If I learned anything from the situation it is to trust but also to take action. I want to talk more about this in upcoming podcasts – but let me say here to fulfill God’s plans for us we have to make an effort and sometimes get out of our comfort zone and take action.

As I shared in the least episode I was lonely – yet I turned to God. My final thought in prayer was that if the Lord wanted me single all my life I would accept it. And, this admission and surrender gave me great peace?

Surrender To God

Have you ever surrendered a situation to God and felt the same peace? The peace that surpasses all understanding? It is wonderful! I urge you to try it.

Co-habitation is an epidemic. Living together was not an option for us – nor would I have agreed and I know my parents would have been totally against it – I’m happy in my case that it did not come up – and ladies if you are urged to “live together” or sleep with someone to prove you love them, I would say stand up for yourself and say no.

Yet before the marriage, I made a decision I have since regretted – and at the encouragement of a friend I went to an OBGYN since I had not previously been and he advised me to use birth control. I had no idea going into this appointment that I would ever use BC but it made sense. His reasoning was, “You don’t want to get pregnant immediately, you want to see how this marriage goes.”

Birth Control

Friends, I did not question him – I did not pray about it, I did not seek Jeff’s input I just did what the doctor said.

Of course, once we were married I shared this information with my husband and he was unhappy with the decision. I didn’t consider the Catholic church teachings. Before Jeff asked me to get off of birth control I read a very short book that my mother gave me. She was a reader of anything religious and she shared a book, Humane Vitae – this book summarized the teaching in 1968 by then Pope Paul VI that reemphasized the Church’s constant teaching that it was always wrong to use contraception in any manner to prevent children from coming into existence.

What few people realize is that up to 1930, all Protestant denominations agreed to condemn contraception as sinful. However, in 1930 at the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican church, was under social pressure to change their stance and they did. They said it would be allowed in some circumstances. Yet soon they allowed contraception across the board. Now all Protestant denominations have followed, and today, the Catholic Church alone stands by the historic Christian position on contraception.

At first, I was upset with the church’s teaching … why was the Catholic church the only one to make this decision, and not change their stance like all of the other Christian faiths? But then I agreed with my husband. I also listened to a talk by Dr. Janet Smith – her talk was eye-opening for me and I was shocked at her findings on the effects of birth control on women and wondered why this wasn’t common knowledge. Friends, we didn’t have the internet then and we could not find the information readily.

Contraception: Why Not – Link Here

Birth Control – Why

Myths about living together: Living Together – Why or Why Not

When I gave up on bc I felt free – and soon became pregnant with my first. I used this as a perfect reason to stay at home and raise my son, and then two years later (exactly another Christmas Eve baby) my daughter.

Friends I was living my dream, my happily ever after with a man I truly loved and I was so happy to wake up each morning and see him and I couldn’t wait until he got home each and every day. He was equally happy and it was a gift from God because this relationship that we had would be tested. My husband is a rock and I pray this for my children to have a strong spouse. One who will stand beside and support you in every way.

Life isn’t perfect and in my case, that imperfection soon was evident in my son’s delays. For those of you who struggle with special children, the next podcast is for you!

One more thing – marriage isn’t perfect. Mine takes a bunch of work on both sides. Yes, I love my husband but he and I are two different personalities —extreme in a sense. Where he is laid back and easy going to a fault. He loves to procrastinate, “Why do today what you can do tomorrow,” and I love to get it done, now. I’m strong willed, I want my own way, and I am tenacious! Our first year was touch and go and many of our arguments stemmed from immaturity on my part. Thankfully, the Lord was there in our lives. We attended church as a family and we prayed and we looked at our lives in the sense of growth and change. Which turned out to be good because I had an inclination that Neal was delayed but didn’t know the severity until later. And that my friends are a time when I really had to cry out to God for help.

We face challenges in life – sometimes they are more difficult than other times. We have to hold on to God as a life-line, but how can you if you do not have a deep relationship with Him? In my life, my relationship can be best described as an ebb and flow of the tides … sometimes it was strong and unwavering and other times it seemed to take a back seat to more pressing needs.

My promise to you is that when you follow God – all in, He will not fail you. He may not answer your prayers exactly as you hoped. But, believe me when I say the way He answers them are perfect in every way.

Easter Blessings

Easter Blessings | The peace of the Lord is always with us, especially for those who believe but what about Easter blessings, why is that a special time? | #christianpodcast Easter Blessings Episode 88

The peace of the Lord is always with us, especially for those who believe but what about Easter blessings, why is that a special time?

On Easter, we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior! He is risen is the cry – and we are so blessed at the thought that Jesus Christ who was sent by the Father, lived, died for our sins and rose from the dead to break the bond of sin for us all.
His was the ultimate sacrifice and on this day, Easter we celebrate it in a fuller way.
Reflection

“On entering the tomb, they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right-hand side, and they were struck with amazement. But he said to them, ‘There is no need for alarm. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he has risen, he is not here. See, here is the place where they laid him. But you must go and tell his disciples and Peter. He is going before you to Galilee it is there you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Mark 16: 5–8

And Luke 24 – 1-12  – The Resurrection of Jesus

 

Loneliness

Loneliness | Loneliness hits when we least expect it - solutions that work. | #podcast #christianpodcastLoneliness  – Episode 4

Loneliness hit me just as I realized, “I’m now an adult.” In this episode, I share some life lessons I learned along the way to adulthood and how we are never alone.

After graduation, I returned to my home town and while my parents were truly loving, and they had the best intentions for me. My dad, however, took the entire, “Italian father,” job literally and stepped in with the acceptance of my first job. I wanted a job teaching elementary school but the job my dad accepted was in middle school – in fact, the one I had attended as a kid when we first moved to town.

God, however, knew what He was allowing and it turned out to be a perfect fit for me. Yet one thing stood in the way of my happiness with my life, and that of a teacher, loneliness.

Loneliness is an Epidemic

The statistics for loneliness are astronomical and it tends to lead to depression. Have you ever felt lonely in the midst of a busy life? I had a wonderful family surrounding me, a bustling Italian restaurant I could escape to if needed with plenty of customers who knew me since I had lived in town since middle school. Yet I felt out of place. I was finally an adult with a piece of paper that said I earned a degree and I had a job, a good job.

The problem was my relationship with the Lord and that was the first thing that needed fixing. Loneliness for me was real and without the grace from God, I would have been lost. It was an interior sense that there was more, that God had someone for me but if He decided to wait then I was fine with waiting or never having anyone if that was God’s will.

I was thankful to a college friend who gave me what I call the True Love Prayer – I’ll read an excerpt to you now…

It was after truly praying and believing that God was in control and surrendering my will to His that I found my loneliness lift. I was no longer focused within, I was focused on others. Giving of ourselves is one way to combat loneliness. I gave to my class and I enjoyed my students. They were wonderful!

2 Corinthians 4:17

While I know I was not alone in feeling loneliness I realize to that it will come and go as I age. However, at this time I believe that it was in letting go that God worked out the details of my life and brought what would turn out to be the love of my life into town – a boy I knew from my college days who lived two hours away. God took care of it!

Now that my kids are grown and the youngest two are in college I’ve felt that loneliness again. During the day instead of the 100+ demands on my time and attention, I found myself wandering around the house wondering, and thinking, and yes feeling lonely! Just think I run a business, and help my husband with his business and still write and speak – can you imagine if I really didn’t have anything to do?

Loneliness is a state of mind and I think the enemy likes to use it against us!

If only we (I) could release more and trust in Him. Can you do that in your own life? Trust? Let go of loneliness? Allow God to work in your life as He has worked countless times in mine? I am learning to do that each and every day. God has this – I trust and I believe!

 

Total Surrender

Total Surrender | Total surrender is easy, right? Well, as a Christian, it should be easier, in theory at least. In this podcast, we will discuss a way that is helpful to let go and let God. | #podcast #christianpodcastTotal Surrender – Episode 87

Total surrender is easy, right? Well, as a Christian, it should be easier, in theory at least. In this podcast, we will discuss a way that is helpful to let go and let God.

Thanks to our sponsor – MediaAngels.com

How can we give God a total surrender of our concerns, worries, and problems if we do not trust? This is a question I’ve had time to reflect upon lately and I am not happy to say that after thinking about it, I’ve come been helped by certain realizations I’ll share with you. One is that we sometimes use God only in the sense of need – when we need him we pull him off that figurative shelf.

While this sounds sacrilegious we have all done it from time to time. Think about it – when all is going well do we cry out to God. No, because there is no need, but when we need him, we “cry out,” and wonder why He does not appear to answer. So we resort to that very human element in our lives worry.

Surrender it is not weakness it is a necessity. It is the only way we can survive in a world that wants to bring us down. Sometimes we just can not change our life circumstances – they are what they are. We have to pray – Lord, you take care of it for me, because I can not. I recently prayed, “Lord I pray a blessing on this person because you love them and I can not love them right now.”

Believe me, it helps!

I asked myself these questions and invite you to do so as well:

  1. Is there something that will change if you worry?
  2. Is there something you can do about the situation you worry about?
  3. By insisting in prayer to God that he changes the outcome to the one you want, are you convinced He will hear and answer your prayer the way you want Him to?

Truthfully that last one is what hit me. I wanted to know why God was not answering my prayer and it was for someone else. I found out that I could not control the situation (I’m sure you’ve already figured that one out) and while I could pray — and I am positive the prayer was heard, the outcome was not what I hoped for. The good news, it was not a life and death situation.

Sometimes what we love the most is what is taken away from us in order that we turn to Him. I’m talking about a career, an achievement, or something that is more on the superficial human level here. My husband always said, “God gets my attention when I don’t have much work.” He is self-employed and our work is steady only by the grace of God – to Him we give all the glory.

Is God getting your attention, and instead of total trust we worry?

Giving Up Worry – Total Trust

I decided this year for Lent (the season of 40 days before Easter) to fast from worry. For the most part, it has worked. Whenever I began to feel worried I gave it to the Lord, I realized very quickly that I could have a life that was calmer and focused on what matters and that is God’s will over mine. I’m sure you’ve all memorized Proverbs 3:5-6 and if not you should commit it to memory:

Proverbs 3:5-6

Total surrender takes:

  1. A decision – I will totally surrender to you, Lord.
  2. A recommitment daily if not minute-by-minute to total surrender.
  3. A realization and acceptance of a different outcome than what we hope for.
  4. A peace – knowledge that God IS always there for us.
  5. The belief that God will give us the grace we need to do this!

Let’s pray with expectant hearts!

Dear Lord, total surrender to you is an absolutely freeing idea and I pray that you give me the grace to surrender all of my problems, my concerns for those in my family, for myself, for those who are struggling. I place all of the issues I have into your very capable hands. You Lord know all things and I know you have my best interests at heart. You care is for my salvation Lord, and I pray a total trust in you. Jesus, I trust in You! Dear Lord, help me especially to surrender the following prayer intentions: (family, friends, work, home, etc.) Lord, I know that you hear me and I especially pray for the grace that comes from the Holy Spirit to shower upon me and bring me that peace that surpasses all understanding. And, I pray this in the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Survival

Survival | When I think of the word survival I think of the term, “Survival of the fittest.” We survive life’s curves in different ways. #podcast #christianpodcast #faithSurvival — Episode 3

When I think of the word survival I think of the term, “Survival of the fittest.” We survive life’s curves in different ways. We look at things during different lenses and I hope after the last podcast you are looking at your family roots with a focus on the positive. In this episode, we will look at the ways we survive with ideas on helping you cope, have hope and yes even have joy out of the process.

Before we get started … can you please share this podcast with a friend, and give me a star rating on your favorite podcast app – here we are in our third episode and I completely forgot to ask you previously. Amazing that I teach people to podcast and can’t follow a simple outline myself!

I believe we learn our survival skills as a kid. I know I did. Kids are resilient and I believe our survival stems from this very fact. Kids can bounce back from life changes so much easier than we can. When we get to be adults the silliest things set us off or throw us off like for me it was scheduling my kids —  The things that drove me nuts was juggling the schedules of three kids that play sports all at the same time in different places, yet this didn’t faze my kids at all because they knew I’d figure it out.

Our kids survive life’s changes because they know we have their best interests in mind. The adults will take care of it – what happens when we become adults who handles it for us now?

As a kid, I moved from my loving home with my parents and grandmother to a home far away leaving my grandmother behind. It is a tragic story of family drama. My grandmother didn’t want us to leave but the extended family got in the way. Of course, they had her best interests in mind…yet it backfired.

I have no idea what my parents were thinking as they packed up a car, with a trailer and moved me and my two little brothers from Long Island, New York and all the way to Toronto Canada. Both are in heaven so I can’t even ask them.

I think my parents were fearless. Can you imagine packing up three kids and moving across the continent in a few days? I can’t. We are planners, aren’t we? We are worried about taking a vacation or even going on a day trip. I have friends who decided to sell their house and become full-time RV’ers and it took them three years to plan for this lifestyle change, and rightly so!

I was very upset with my parents and very young. I was entering the fourth grade when we moved and they took me out of public school and placed me in a very strict Catholic school. No, I didn’t have the mean nuns. Our nuns were nice and we even had regular teachers.

I knew my parents cared about me but it wasn’t my friends I was sad to leave; it was my grandmother. I didn’t even care that we went to Canada. It was a pretty awesome place to live especially if you liked snow and what kid didn’t.

My parents knew they could work hard and had an amazing skill set. They didn’t mind being self-employed and were not afraid to take any job to pay the bills. They also had a small nest egg, or I assume they did because we bought a house at the top of a horseshoe subdivision on a hill. My mother was a fabulous seamstress, a great cook yet her baking was by “eye” and it was either great or not. My father was a handyman and a seamstress. All self-taught. Canada was a blessing to my family, my parents did very well sewing custom clothing for a wealthy crowd. My mother and father made my clothes well into college.

In fact on the rare occasion that my mother took me shopping, she would turn the seams inside out first. Mom taught me that to determine how long the outside would last you had to look at the inside first. A good life lesson!

Three years later they did it again. This time I didn’t care about moving from Canada to Florida. Across the continent, we went! We drove around the town of Winter Haven, (My mother said anything that had heaven in the name had to be wonderful), until my parents found first a house they wanted to buy and then a business. A fried chicken place – I mean what else would an Italian family buy?

Seriously. I’m astounded. Of course, they quickly added Italian sides like spaghetti. Two pieces of chicken, a side of pasta and garlic bread. The combo platter. I created custom signs, I loved art and was a bit embarrassed that they traded out the fries for pasta, but the customers were delighted. They soon outgrew their little place – and when the pizza place owner next door forced the building owner to not renew their rental contract it was understandable.

My mother prayed and prayed for a solution. I remember her going to talk to the priest because the other owner was Catholic as well. My mother prayed for God’s will. Nothing worked until they looked across the street. Well, not exactly across but at 2:00 – over there. I’m pointing but you can’t see me! There it was. A stand-alone building in need of remodeling. Hmm, anyone know a handyman? They purchased the building and remodeled and business was wonderful. They grew so big my dad had to remodel again, later while I attended college.

My parents made friends with one of the owners of the major league baseball team, the Red Sox that use to train down the street and we had a stream of winter visitors and famous players at the restaurant.

One door was closed and another opened for them!

It was a life tragedy for my parents. They had to move their thriving business. How could they survive and provide for their family? Yet, God provided. Not only that but grew their business tremendously! And guess what? They could now offer pizza on the menu because there were no lease restrictions!

Where do you get that will – that determination – that drive to survive? It comes from need. The need begins when we are kids and then develops as we get older and into adulthood. The urge to eat, sleep and provide for our families is very real and I believe it is instilled in us, this survival instinct.

Where do you get your survival instincts from? Have you thought about it? Is it due to the example of your parents or is it from someone who you admire?

I think it also is based upon what we think is important.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What has happened in the past to hone your survival skills?
  2. How do you survive life tragedies?
  3. What is your example in surviving in the midst of adversity?

I know what happened in my life – through moving I had to learn to let go, yet we are created to bond to others, our family or friends.

 

Take Jesus With You

Take Jesus With You | Is Jesus with you each and every day? Learn how to notice God in your life | #podcast #christianpodcast Take Jesus With You – Episode 86

Many times people feel alone and forgotten but you can take Jesus with you each and every day. In this episode, we are reminded that God is always with us until the end of time. We are not alone!

So, how do you take Jesus with you and why is this a strange concept to so many? We learned as children that Jesus is always with us – we are told in the Scriptures after Jesus resurrected that the disciples were asked to go to the mountain in Galilee where they found the Lord – and he instructed them before he went to heaven. This is known as the “great commission.”

Matthew 28:16-20

  1. The eleven went to find Jesus
  2. Some doubted
  3. The great commission – make disciples of all nations
  4. The Trinity: Baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
  5. Teach them to obey
  6. …I am with you always, to the very end of the age

Jesus is with us … always … to the very end of the age…

We should be shouting and rejoicing in the streets – hallelujah the Lord is with us – He is here – He is always beside us. OR… if we are not sure of our relationship with God it may be a little bit intimidating.

Each of us has a different relationship with the Lord. We worship in our own way. Some in private, other’s in the community, some lifting their hands and worshipping in song and others on their knees in the privacy of a church chapel or home. Yet we should work on our communication with the Lord.

Is Jesus with you each and every day? Is he right

Dear Jesus, thank you for always being with me, until the end of time – thank you for giving me the grace to believe you are here – that you are with me. I repent of any way I have not allowed you to work in my life, anything I have done that is not pleasing. I ask you, Lord, to come into my life in a renewed way – to see your hand in the little things in my life, to honor my prayers and to go with me, wherever I go. I praise you and I thank you, Lord! Thank you for answering the prayers that I ask of you now…

You are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and I give you all the honor and praise as the one true God and I pray this in Jesus Name – Amen!

Family Roots

Family Roots | Have you studied your family roots? We all have a history we are either proud of or want to shove back in the closet. In today’s episode, I’ll share how we can use our heritage to our advantage and bring healing out of situations that truthfully should make us cry! | #podcast #christianpodcast #faithFamily Roots – Episode Two

Have you studied your family roots? We all have a history we are either proud of or want to shove back in the closet. In today’s episode, I’ll share how we can use our heritage to our advantage and bring healing out of situations that truthfully should make us cry!

In my book, One More Child I write what I believe to be a truth – “We don’t get to choose our parents, something my kids probably lament in private!” They did get a kick out of that line – when our kids are little they adore us and write us “I love you, mommy,” notes. When they get older we can be embarrassing or you hear the line, “Moooommmm” at the end of anything I ask.

My parents are now both deceased, and my life was not your average American kid story. While I was born into an Italian immigrant family in New York City, I had no idea I was different until I entered school.

Has that happened to any of you? Your background, morals, truths that were taught by your parents just were, because they said? Then you wake up to find out, wow, things are different out there.

I go into more details about my upbringing in my book, yet in this podcast, I want to focus on our roots.

What are your roots? Have you looked back, and I’m not talking about a DNA test or a family tree history. While those may be interesting it tells you the ancestry parts of your story but not the full picture. Your family tree doesn’t tell you what is important to you. It doesn’t tell you how your upbringing, your family, your parents or lack of good parental influence colors your life decisions. It doesn’t explain the hurt you feel.

Our roots have a way of explaining a lot. I want to challenge you to look back on your upbringing like I did, but not with sad eyes but with eyes that see the good. We didn’t have money growing up but I didn’t know it. We didn’t live in the best neighborhoods or eat the right food. We didn’t even have friends (or very few) outside of our family circle. My best friends were my two cousins, both guys, Sal and Joe. We grew up in the same apartment complex. When we played, we played together.

In fact, my mother was divorced, something that is forbidden in an Italian Catholic family. It wasn’t her choice. My father left. But it left a big hole in her life and you can imagine it had a rippling effect not only on me but our extended family.

Do loving people, who love the Lord get abandoned. Yes. Sometimes through no fault of their own. These things remain a mystery in families that won’t talk about the issues that bother them, they are swept under the carpet.

But if you ask me to describe my family to you and my upbringing I would say it was loving, loud, and after God family was the most important thing and it was happy. Can you do that? Look back upon your family with rose-colored glasses and see the good?

It is a matter of our survival to focus on the good, the happiness, the joy. Even if it is a relative, a neighbor, a teacher who brought you that joy. In curriculum series, I published I had a co-author, Jill. I loved Jill. She was a boisterous evangelical Christian and I was a cradle Catholic and we agreed to disagree on several faith-related discussions but not on the things that mattered the most of which we agreed, our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. She had a horrible relationship with her father, and when she found God she said she could not equate a loving God as a “Father” because her idea of the word Father was skewed. Yet, when she realized they were two separate entities and forgave her earthly father, she was able to move on and embrace the love and joy from her spiritual father.

That is true joy friend. When we can leave those icky things in our past behind and move forward. Maybe you are not at a place where you can do this – but you can. I have faith that you can. Maybe not this second but soon.

Here are some practical steps to get you started.

  1. Look at your roots. What do you see?
  2. If you see hardships, acknowledge those but look for the good.
  3. If you are stuck on the icky stuff pray to God to forgive. Only through forgiveness – can we move on.
  4. Future – look at the future with hope.
  5. Let go! Joy comes from releasing things that are upsetting to God and letting go.

This is a ton of work to get you started and believe me it doesn’t happen overnight. It took me many years to grow in faith and that was a process and afterward, it took me another five years to write my book.

Why do we delay in letting things go, in allowing God to work in our lives? If you have the answer, please let me know! We all make mistakes and in the next episode, we will discuss survival – the way we regroup and survive difficult things.

Maybe you can’t do any of the five things I’ve listed. Fine. Make up your own list. If you are struggling and hurting there is only one way out and that is to look for the root cause.

A quick side note here. Taking responsibility. In my case, my distress was because of a decision I made, not lightly but along with my husband. I had to take responsibility and own it to move on.

Bad things happen to good people. And…

Good people do not need to let those bad things define them.

We are responsible for ourselves for our decisions and for our own feelings. If we allow ourselves to stay in a self-pity party for very long it begins to define us – we look at other people and see their lives as perfect. We begin to compare ourselves to others and guess what? We think we fall short – everyone else’s life is so much better than ours, right?

Wrong.

There is no perfect life. Believe me, I know. Just think of any friends you’ve gotten to know whose life you thought were perfect. I usually walk away happy that is not my life and thanking God that He has given me what I can handle with His help!

Can you do it? Can you look at your roots, your past and not allow it to define who you are?

Yes, I’m Italian. Yes, I grew up in a faith-filled Catholic family but we were more cafeteria Catholic that true Catholic – selecting and choosing what we wanted to follow. Yes, I watched as my family practice the fine art of guilt – making others feel guilty when they didn’t want to visit or eat the food prepared. It was subtle but oh so effective technique – and the drama! There was always drama.

I let these roots define me for way too long! Take the good, get rid of the bad. Learn from past mistakes. I’m not into guilt or drama. But it was a process. When my parents retired in a community thirty minutes away, I would feel guilty if I was within ten miles of my parent’s home and didn’t go to visit. Even after my mother died I began to fill guilt that I hadn’t visited enough. Why didn’t I go see her more? My husband reminded me of all the times we visited all the meals, of all the family celebrations. My parents actually baked homemade pizza for lunch and brought it fresh and hot to my house for the kids. Retirement was an extension of the Italian Restaurant they owned in Winter Haven, Florida. They just changed the menu and fed the neighbors and family that lived nearby.

When my cousin wanted to take his wife on a getaway (the same cousin whose mother, my aunt lived in their home and his wife made welcoming) and he wanted to visit my area in Florida I told him that while I’d love to see him – this was a surprise for his wife who lived near family and it was okay—he didn’t need to come to visit. Needless to say, he was delighted and shocked.

In the past, there would have been all types of drama told about being so close and not coming over for dinner. Every. Night.

Growing up anyone who walked into our house was greeted with the same words. Hello. Welcome. And, you look hungry. How do you look hungry?!

Friends, let it go. If you come to my house I’ll say, “Hello, welcome,” and then proceed to forget to offer you even a glass of water. The glasses are in the drawer near the water cooler help yourself!

Please connect with me on social media, I want to meet you, and for us to get to know each other. The information and details are on the podcast page at One More Child Podcast.com – or if you are not on social media please share your comments and questions with me at Felice@MediaAngels.com.

I pray God’s blessings upon you and your family. Until next we meet

 

Power of Family Prayer

Power of Prayer | I recently attended a prayer breakfast where I heard an amazing testimony to the power of family prayers. The prayers of a family or friends for a particular person are so powerful. In this episode, I want to share with you some of what I learned and the power of prayers for your family. | #podcast #christianpodcastThe Power of Family Prayers – Episode 85

I recently attended a prayer breakfast where I heard an amazing testimony to the power of family prayers. The prayers of a family or friends for a particular person are so powerful. In this episode, I want to share with you some of what I learned and the power of prayers for your family.

Family prayer is so important – we don’t realize the impact. We can unite as a community to pray for someone, we pray in the gap for those who may be struggling with their faith OR for those who need our prayer:

Jesus Prays for His Disciples – The Power of Family Prayer

John 6:26

  • I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours ((John 6:9).
  • All I have is yours and all you have is mine (John 6:10).
  • While I was with them I protected them (John 6:12).
  • I kept them safe by that name you gave me. (John 6:12). (The name? Jesus Christ.)

God knows what we need and He is what we need! Think about that. We are worried, concerned and we allow these feelings to overcome us to the point that we can’t function. I understand, life is a struggle and guess what – we hold this inside and don’t want anyone else to know. We continue on as if everything is okay.

And, to make matters worse? The enemy uses this to torment us and keep us bound to a place where can’t escape on our own. Friends, the only person who can set you free is the Lord. He is the one who knows all of our needs – all of our wants and keeps everything in perspective for us.

When we rely on Him for everything we will be victorious. One of the ways to get out of our own problems is to pray for others. Not in a way that has us tied up in knots with worry but in a way that releases the situation to God.

I keep learning and growing along with all of you on my journey of faith. I decided that the time before Lent I would give up worry. It was eating me inside and I was so concerned about things I could do nothing about – yes, I prayed and I stood in the gap, but instead of releasing things to God for Him, in His wisdom and mercy to take care of… I was concerned He wouldn’t answer, or that He would answer but not how I wanted Him to answer.

Instead every time I was tempted (do you hear that word, “tempted” it is true – we are tempted) so, when I was tempted to worry I said, “into your hands Lord I place this situation.” And left it there! Is it easy? No way, but I have faith.

In Exodus 3:1-15 we read about Moses and the burning bush – one verse really stood out for me. The Lord God told Moses he was … “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.” And, He went on —The Lord said, “I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry of complaint against their slave drivers, so I know well what they are suffering.”

God knows what we are suffering and what our friends and family are suffering. I spoke to a friend who is praying for her friends who are suicidal or have children who are suicidal. Another friend’s daughter was given a dire diagnosis of no hope after cancer treatment. We can stand in the gap, we can pray. One friend was so moved about another friend’s situation she took a calendar and started a prayer chain with each of us taking one day to pray for this person.

God hears the prayers of the family. The family can be blood-related but the family of God is interrelated. We, those of us listening to this podcast – we are family, we are the family of God. No matter what your faith journey if you are starting out or you are a committed Christian we all have people to pray for. I received a text as I was preparing this talk for a friend’s daughter who is having her first baby – she is on the way to the hospital so we pray!

Are you connected to others who pray? For those of you on Facebook we have a large group of prayer warriors – you can join us there, or email me at Felice (at) MediaAngels.com and I will add your prayer request https://www.facebook.com/AFewMinutesWithGod/

 

Remember – God knows our needs – he took the Israelites out of Egypt, and that was a miracle and He had not sent His Son, Jesus Christ at that point! Now the Lord has lived, died and is resurrected! He is here for us and we need to trust.

Jesus, I trust in you and I pray for those listening to this episode. You hear their prayers just like you heard the prayers of the people in Egypt who were under slavery. Lord we are under the slavery of sins such as anger, a feeling of injustice, pride, hate, impatience and all those little sins we think are minor and not important. I ask your forgiveness of these sins and I say right now, that I am sorry for the way I have sinned against you in Word, in thought, and in deed. I ask you, Lord, to fill me with Your Holy Spirit, to wash away those feelings I have and to allow me to focus on what is good and right. Dear Lord, you know my needs – and I know you are what I need. I ask you, Lord, to hear my prayers especially for myself and those I now pray for ….

I praise You Jesus for this time to give you all the glory and all the honor that you deserve, and I thank you for the hope you give me each day, and I pray all this in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Invitation To Hope

Invitation To Hope | Do you need an invitation to hope? Well I did, and I’m convinced that everyone has a story to tell. #podcast #christianpodcastInvitation To Hope – Introduction Episode One

Do you need an invitation to hope? Well, I did and I’m convinced that everyone has a story to tell. Every single one of us struggles yet we don’t want anyone to know about it. We want to paint a rosy picture and let everyone know we are living the dream. My life was just that way; I was struggling on the inside yet smiling on the outside. There is hope and joy in life and I am here to share this message with you.

I will discuss real concerns that you have as a woman, as a mom or someone who is learning and growing in their faith. I want you to know you are not alone. This podcast is meant to support, encourage and to give you hope! Some of you are stay-at-home moms some of you at our work at home moms and some of you work outside of the home, yet we all have common struggles. Anyone who tells you that life is great all the time is not being truthful. Life has struggles, this is not heaven, and I often have to remind myself of this very fact. Happily ever after does happen in real life but it happens not necessarily in the way you think.

You might think this is a strange name for a podcast – One More Child – but it has impact and meaning. Once I was open to God’s will in my life, in everything–even being open to having one more child, I felt as if my eyes were opened to the truth. I could no longer compartmentalize my beliefs and my life. I also found that my daily life struggles were manageable because I was not doing it alone.

In this series of podcasts, we will discuss so many topics that affect our happiness. And you will see a reoccurring theme one of trust, of truth and of focus. Can you use more of that in your life? I know I can!

As I record this episode I am just beginning to share my book with the public, it is a story about faith and redemption, and how my last three children are a miracle story. I thought God might bless me with a third child, but he decided I needed a fourth and a fifth as well! My God is abundantly gracious.

In this series for the One More Child Podcast, I’m going to discuss different topics that relate to openness to children, family, faith, and relationships – I also want to encourage you to find joy and hope no matter what your life’s situation may be.

So who am I? My name is Felice Gerwitz, and I have been online in some capacity since 1999 representing the company I created and founded Media Angels. I’ve been writing and publishing for over 24 years.

When I started, there were no podcasts, no online forums or even social media as we know it today. But I am so happy we have these things so I can connect with all of you!

Now that my five children are grown up, with my two youngest currently in college, I find myself at a crossroads. I wrote a book that I felt compelled to write through the urging of the Lord, in writing this book I found that I had much more to say than the 100 pages of the book, so since I am no stranger to podcasts, I decided, “Why not?”

I know this podcast would have helped me as someone who was struggling, as someone who  had no one to talk to about private issues — well let me amend that, I had plenty of people I could talk to but no one I wanted to tell my story to nor was I open to any solutions at that time. I held a secret in my heart that was eating away at the very fiber of who I was as a woman as a mom and as a wife. Sometimes there are things you just can’t share with anyone. And this feeling was something I couldn’t even share with my husband even though if you had asked me I would say we were very close.

I don’t want this podcast to be a one-way conversation. I want you to join me with questions and perhaps as a guest on this podcast if you are open to this idea. If not, I totally get it! No one believes I am shy—no one. But truthfully I’m a private person that the Lord has stretched and taken me out of my comfort zone. Has that ever happened to you? We grow when we are stretched and believe me I have grown and continue to grow in my relationship with the Lord.

At one time I believed that if I shared my secret I would admit my inadequacies and I was not in a place spiritually to do this. My walk with the Lord was one-sided—I followed Him on my terms. You may wonder about my secret what was it that had me in turmoil? It was regret. Regret over a decision that thousands of people make each day and that is to limit the size of their family with a surgical procedure. For us, it was a vasectomy.

Once my faith grew and I began to understand what it truly meant to be a Christian in the full sense of the word, I began to regret the decision. My husband was also feeling the same way but he didn’t tell me either until years later.

If this story didn’t have a happy conclusion I wouldn’t be sharing this right now! I know the wonderful outcome could only happen by the grace of God – His mercy and His love for me. My last three children wouldn’t be here unless we had a change of heart, and I can’t tell you what a blessing they have been. Has it been easy? No – but can you tell me one thing in your life that has been worthwhile that is super easy?

What I want to share in future podcasts is that God does answer prayers and His answers are so much more glorious than anything you or I can imagine – and believe me, I have a very vivid imagination! God poured out His grace on me, my husband and my family and I can’t wait to share the good news with you!

One thing you can be sure of … there will be no pretense in these episodes. I have learned so much and I’m happy to share helpful solutions and encourage you along your journey in life if I truly have lived it — and my heart’s desire is to share the wonderful and amazing hope that comes only my relationship with the one true God! And, you know what? IT is available to all of you.

Welcome my friend. If you are a long-time friend and listener of my other podcasts I thank you in advance for coming over to yet another podcast I host and your loving support. You know who you are. If you are a new listener, I hope to meet you and for you to become a friend. My hope is that you will join me on social media so we can have a chance to connect, meet and get to know each other. The information is on the podcast page at One More Child Podcast.com – or if you are not on social media please share your comments and questions with me at Felice@MediaAngels.com.

I’m excited about this new journey the Lord has me on …and I pray it is a hundred-fold blessing to all of you. Until next we meet…

 

 

Judgmental Christians

Judgmental Christians | In a world that has gone astray the last thing we need is judgmental Christians getting in the way of the goodness that is truly God. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcastJudgmental Christians

In a world that has gone astray the last thing we need is judgmental Christians getting in the way of the goodness that is truly God. In this episode we are going to take a hard look at ourselves and ways we can improve upon our nature to forgive and repent for pointing the finger at others when the finger should be directed at ourselves.

In the last few podcasts, we’ve listened as the Lord taught us first in the Beatitudes about how we should live and then in the verse about turning the other cheek and going above and beyond what is expected of us by normal situations. Today we are going to look at ourselves and the tendency we have of blaming others and not taking the blame that most squarely falls on our own shoulders.

Friends I am talking to myself here and don’t want you to see this episode of pointing fingers at you!

Luke 6:43-45 New International Version we read about A Tree and Its Fruit

What we produce depends upon what is in our heart – and that is unfortunately typically hidden from the world until something sets us off. I have to admit that I am not happy with my younger self. I was quick to follow Jesus in all things but then believed I had to correct all those around me. I was involved in a Bible Study focused on the Book of Corinthians and I was so excited with what I was learning. At a meeting with my CPA who had been Baptist but now was not practicing I was attempting to find out how to get her back to her faith.

I realized that not everyone was going to lead a life that was pleasing to me. When another friends’ marriage was ruined by infidelity on her husband’s part she went off what I would consider the “deep end” and began to live a life of promiscuity herself. It was retaliation on the hurt she felt by betrayal and the way she reacted was just the same. I thought it was my job to point out these issues and became self-righteous. After all, I told myself I was concerned for their souls. What if they died in a state of sin?

I looked at these friends and thought I am not doing anything remotely wrong in comparison, but judging them was wrong. “Every tree is known by its own fruit.” And my fruit was tainted. We think we are being compassionate but we are not.

In our family, we fall into this same trap. Whether it is an extended family member or someone in your immediate family. Yes, we want to help our children but at some point it is time to release them to God and allow the Lord to work in their lives.

Just for clarification – Being judgmental is putting someone else down to elevate ourselves – to make ourselves feel like we are holier and better than they in a spiritual sense. That is why it is sinful. Being helpful, loving guiding is not the same. As much as it pains me to admit I was judgmental in the bad sense of the word. And, I want to praise God that I finally “grew” out of it – and it was a spiritual immaturity that leads me down that path.

Can we pray for those that we feel are going down the wrong path? Absolutely… we can storm heaven for them. However, always reprimanding, nagging and chiding them for incorrect behavior is going to push them further away.

Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

How are we doing? What does our life look like to those around us? Are we showing good fruit while we are harboring unforgiveness and condemnation toward others inside?

A splinter or a branch or maybe an entire plank can be blocking all the goodness in our lives and the ability for the Lord to work within us.

I know that when I prayed blessings on those who hurt me (I have podcasts on forgiveness and if you haven’t listened go to AfewminuteswithGodPodcast.com to find them), I was set free.

When someone who bothers you or you have judged comes to mind, pray a blessing upon them. Ask the Lord to bless them beyond measure and leave it at that. Do you think you love these friends or relatives more than the Lord does? No, not at all.

Now, what if someone asks you for help or asks your opinion on a matter that might be sinful? That is different, then it is advisable to pray to the Holy Spirit first for an infilling of His wisdom and help and then pray with the person first and then listen.

I want to warn you about being too scrupulous. Sometimes we are so focused on the outer trappings that we forget what is inside. That does not mean we need to lower our principles.

Recently dress has become more and more suggestive on television. My husband and I love to watch some of the cooking shows. We had to change the channel recently because the show host had a very low cut dress on – totally unnecessary. We will see more and more of this I am sure and it is time for us to take control and turn the channel and perhaps turn off the television.

I’m not suggesting you lower your own morals but in this episode, I pray it has given you food for thought. I’d like you to journal about the following questions or take them to prayer.

  1. Have I been judgmental of someone recently?
  2. Did I do it out of compassion or to show I knew more and was superior in my faith?
  3. Did I share my beliefs with this person in a harsh way?
  4. Did I condemn their actions?
  5. Did I pray with them?

Looking at ourselves:

  1. How am I living my life according to the gospels?
  2. Are there places that I need to improve?
  3. How can I forgive those that hurt me?
  4. What is in my life that is a flaw and fault that I need to change?
  5. How do I plan on making amends to those I have hurt?

Take some time and go through these questions, pray, ask God to forgive you and pray a blessing on those you have hurt! And watch the miracles happen.

Let’s pray:

Dear Jesus I thank you for the hard life lessons we must learn to be new creations. If we do not grow and change for the better, we cannot develop into the people you want us to be. Please help me to show good fruit that is from the heart, increase my heart with love especially for those who have hurt me. Help me to pray an abundance of blessings upon those who have hurt me. Help me to stop condemning or judging others and allow me to focus on myself and my family and allow me to be the best example of your love to them. Dear Lord, I pray specifically for the following intentions … I ask a blessing upon those I pray for and I ask you to hear and answer my prayers. Come Holy Spirit, infill me with your love and goodness and I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

Challenges For Christians

Challenges for Christians | I don’t need to tell you that as a Christian we are in peril. There are many challenges for Christians to overcome each day. | #podcast #christianpodcast Challenges For Christians Episode 83

I don’t need to tell you that as a Christian we are in peril. There are many challenges for Christians to overcome each day. We are a persecuted people worldwide but currently, in our own world, the things we held dear are slowly being eroded.

In the scriptures, Jesus challenges us again and again that following Him is not an easy road but it is one that is eternal. In the last episode, we read the Sermon on the Mount and how the Lord challenged us in the beatitudes. Today we are going to read about a further challenge that seems so applicable to our world today.

In the Scriptures, Jesus challenges us that it is not enough to be his disciples and to be blessed when we are persecuted but then we must turn the other cheek. I want to read the Scripture and have you process this and what it means for our lives because I feel the Lord has revealed something special in this passage and I will use it in my life. If you believe He wants you to use it in your lives as well then I invite you to think and pray.

Challenges For Christians

Matthew 5:38-40 New International Version (NIV) — Eye for Eye

This lesson from our Lord and Savior was to show us that the Kingdom of God does not operate as our world operates. Jesus characterized unfailing truth, mercy, forgiveness of sinners, and finally sacrificial love by his dying on the cross.

We are told to go above and beyond what is expected – but this verse does not mean we sit there and be abused. Not at all – we do not put ourselves in danger by allowing someone to hurt us. That would be against all that is good and holy. This verse shows us that in a world of mediocracy, of doing the least amount, of caring only about ourselves to the detriment of others we are to be a light in a hurting world. Recently on the news, I saw a story of a man who walked five or ten miles to work and had to get up super early to get there and was always on time. Someone saw this and purchased him a car so that he could drive instead. This is an example of what the Lord is showing us. The news received national attention and the donor was hailed as a “good Samaritan,” synonymous with the Scriptures intent.

Jesus is the one who challenges – and there will always be challenges for Christians

What Jesus says to us in the Scripture is that we should not retaliate – we should forgive, we should in essence “turn the other cheek.” The world expects us to retaliate, in fact, it is instinctive. We want to get back to insult, to hate. All of these things make the enemy rejoice while good suffers. So many people are held in bondage of guilt and unforgiveness and it will eat away at your health and eventually your soul if you let it.

Jesus is the perfect example of silence before his accuser when he was sentenced to death on the cross. We all know he could summon the angels of heaven or freed Himself with just one word but he did not. As I share this message we approach the Lenten season. It is a time of reflection, the 40 days before Easter. Friends, even if you are not Catholic, spend this time in prayer before the Lord daily and pray. Think about how the Lord did not avenge His death, instead He used it to set us free and what a heavy price. Something we should be grateful for and rejoice!

In the Old Testament, we see a similar example of acting counter culture with the sparing of Saul’s life by David. Even though Saul wanted to kill David, David showed that God was in charge of his life. And, Saul had been chosen by God.

We are told to be merciful as God is merciful. Jesus isn’t only teaching He is showing us a glimpse of himself and His mission. Where there was hatred Jesus came to bring us love. We are called to imitate Christ. Can we do that in our daily lives? Can we be a gateway of love and joy to those in our families, to those we encounter every day, to the random person on the street?

As Christians, we can show that when we are slandered and persecuted that we will pray for them. I once ended a conversation with someone that was pro-abortion that I would pray for them. They were taken aback. We should not say it in a way that is condescending but in a way that is heartfelt!

God does not call everyone but those He calls He equips. He has given us all the tools we need by the power of the Holy Spirit, by the grace from on high, by His words in Scripture. We have everything we need and yet we fall short. We must pray to be the light and to bring the light of Jesus to others and that should be our goal as we approach the 40 days of Lent.

Let’s Pray!

Lord, I want to imitate You, your goodness, your mercy, and your forgiveness but I fall short. I cannot do this on my own. I need the Father. I need You, Jesus. I need the Holy Spirit. I need help! Please, Lord, hear my prayers and help me in this time of persecution to place you first. If I put you first I know that everything else will work out. I put all of my trust in you, Jesus. Help me to be a light for a hurting world. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me. Help me to let go of the things that I have carried for many days, weeks or even years. I give all of my needs to you and I am free in the precious Name of Jesus. You died so that our sins could be forgiven and I praise Your Name!

Thank you for hearing my prayers for answering my prayers and for being ever faithful. Thank-you for this time to dwell on your words, to place them in my heart and to learn from your lessons even though it is many years later it still makes sense. Dear Lord, please listen as I pray for the following intentions… thank-you for hearing and answering my prayers. Dear Jesus I ask a special blessing on all of the listeners of this podcast, I ask that you bless them 100-fold for their faithfulness in listening and studying your Word in Holy Scripture and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Calls

Jesus Calls Us To Transformation | In Christ not only are we transformed and made into a “new creation” but the entire world is transformed! | #podcast #christianpodcastJesus Calls Us To Change — Transformation In Christ ~ Episode 82

In Christ not only are we transformed and made into a “new creation” but the entire world is transformed! I’ve done another podcast on Christian Transformation, and the link for that is here. However, in this podcast, I want to think about the charge, the call to action in the Beatitudes. In the different books of the Bible, the author had a specific inspired message by the Holy Spirit directed to the children of God. As Christians with access to the entire text, we see that there is a difference between Luke’s version of the Beatitudes and Matthew’s version. In Luke’s, it is not the poor in spirit who inherit the kingdom of God, but the actual poor. It is not those who hunger for righteousness who will be satisfied but those who are actually hungry. And it goes on to the rich. Not only is there an admonishment to the rich but the words, “Woe to you who are rich…woe to you who are filled now.” (Luke 6:24-25)

Jesus Calls Us To Change

I want to read both versions, the Beatitudes in Luke and in Matthew. Here you will hear how Jesus calls us to change. Allow the words to touch you and focus on what the Lord wants you to do about it. Let me just say that as a young and immature Christian I looked at the Beatitudes and said – okay, well there is no chance for me to even get into heaven because there were verses like Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven… I didn’t feel that I was poor in spirit, I didn’t understand what this meant. Friends,  pray to the Holy Spirit – like I will before I read these to you that you will be blessed to understand what the Lord wants you to understand.

Dear Lord, I praise you and thank you and I ask for an infilling of the Holy Spirit that you can help us to discern your calling and your will in our lives.

Matthew 5:1-11

Luke’s version 6: 17-49

The requirements of the kingdom of God is different than those that we look at in our current world, our society, even our homes. It is a call to change. To become a new creation. In Baptism we are made new, our sins are washed away by the cleansing waters of the Holy Spirit, but we also die with Christ. In the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, we receive the promises…the promise of eternal life for those who believe.

Jeremiah 17:8

We can be assured that we are transformed in Christ by the power of His being – we are believers and as believers in the Word of God that is infallible, we know without a doubt that we are on the path that leads to heaven because we believe.

Believing has its own set of requirements and not to get denominational here – but know that just believing is not enough. No, you can’t earn your way to heaven but we are called to disciple others to share the good news. If we as believers keep our thoughts to ourselves we will continue to have a world that is sharply divided where good is called evil and evil is called good.

Let’s look at the right of an infant to get help after birth if it was due to a failed abortion – that was ruled against recently by our government. We the people need to stand up and take note of every person who voted against affirming the right to live. Friends this is satanic worship – it is worshiping the god of death and destruction. This is a sacrifice a human sacrifice to evil. Please pray for our world, pray for yourselves and pray that you are transformed by Christ with the Father and the Holy Spirit to minister to a hurting world.

Jesus Calls Us

Let’s pray –

Dear Lord Jesus we live in a time that breaks my heart, a time when good is not revered when life, as we know it, has changed for the worse. Please Lord, help us, fill us with your Holy Spirit – help us to do what is right and live a life that gives glory to you every single day. We do not want to do anything Lord but we need your help and direction. Thank you for all you have given us, thank you once again for the gift of faith. I ask for the gift of discernment and I ask that you fill me with the ability to share the good news of the gospel with others. Bring me people that I can minister to, Lord. I pray specifically for the following intentions…

Thank you, Jesus, for hearing my prayers and for answering them, and I pray this in Jesus precious Name. Amen!

 

Chosen People

Chosen People | The Israelites were God's chosen people. Why would he pick Israel? | #podcast #christianpodcastChosen People Episode 81

The Israelites were God’s chosen people. Why would he pick Israel? The Scripture explains this well beginning in Abraham when he was promised that his descendants would be as many as the stars in the sky and sand on the seashore.

Genesis 22:16-17

By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will multiply your descendants like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will possess the gates of their enemies.

These descendants are the Israelites. But God has called many people throughout the years and they have been what we would consider less than stellar. Why would God choose Isaiah a man who admits to being unclean? Why would God select Peter, who was stubborn, sinful and fishermen of all things! He also inevitably denied Jesus three times. Yet God chose these people among so many others to play very important roles in our salvation history. Look at Paul. He persecuted the Christians as “Saul” until the Lord called him out of darkness to serve Him.

God uses miracles when he calls these men. Peter’s empty nets are filled with fish and though I’m sure he felt unworthy yet he accepts the call. The same with Saul, he is blinded and hears a voice that says, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

Here is the Scripture in Acts 9:-1-7

Paul recognizes that it was not due to his own virtue that he was called but by the grace of God that made him worthy. Only God’s grace can cause these men to say, “here I am Lord,” and they left all they had and followed Him.

We must recognize God’s call for us today. How is God calling you? I’ve asked you this many times in past podcasts. I’ve challenged you to spend time in quiet with God to listen to his small voice.

In the quiet, we hear the Lord and he calls each of us today as His chosen people.

Dear Lord thank you for calling me, I am here Lord and I come to do your will. Please help me to understand your will for me today. Please help me to chose you each and every time over all of the other things I could be doing. Please help me to focus on the work you have for me and please give me the grace to do this work because I can do nothing alone. Personally, I thank you for the ability to create this podcast and for all of the people who listen to this show. Please bless them Lord and give them the desires of their hearts. Dear Lord, we pause now to ask you for the following needs:

Thank you, Lord for hearing our prayers and answering them and I pray this in Jesus Precious Name, Amen.

Faith Under Pressure

Faith Under Pressure | In today's world, our faith is under pressure. There are so many things pulling on our time. | #podcast #ChristianPodcastFaith Under Pressure ~ Episode 80

In today’s world, our faith is under pressure. There are so many things pulling on our time. We are bombarded with the news, the things happening in our day to day work, the pressure of home and family. Everywhere we look we just can’t catch our breath until the next onslaught of issues comes barreling into us. It doesn’t have to be this way, and in this episode, we take a look at our faith and the pressure of the world, and the good news? God is victorious!

In the Scriptures, we read about the fate of the prophets. The prophets by definition are rejected. Whenever the Lord asked a prophet to give the people a warning most of the warnings fell on deaf ears. The people thought they didn’t need to change, they thought they were doing fine. Jeremiah told the people of Judah that they must repent on their infidelity or God would destroy their temple. They responded by threatening to put Jeremiah in jail.

In the Gospels, Jesus also faces similar opposition. He was not what the hometown people expected. They knew him and his family. They possibly watched him grow up. They rejected his teaching and drove him out of town. Jesus was able to bear all of this – and I can’t imagine how it felt to him to be rejected by those He loves. Saint Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:7 Love bears all things –It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Because of God’s love, he served the people and continues to serve us each day. What do we give him back? Our faith and when we are under pressure whether it is from family, pain, illness or from things we can not help, our faith can be tested. We are able to bare all things only by the grace of God only by the help we get in every day of prayer and time with God. We need to be shored up to be infilled and to be created more in His image than our own. Our faith survives when we die to self, putting others first. When we look at things as black and white that is when the filters of this world tend to come crashing in and threatened to overwhelm us.

Put on the armor of Christ daily, rely on God and even the hardest day can be victorious because as we all know – God has already won the battle.

Dear Lord Jesus, I praise you for all you have done for me in my life. I thank you ahead of time for listening to my pleas and calls in prayer. Dear Lord, I ask that you help me when my faith is under pressure and ask that you fill me with your Holy Spirit to overflowing so that I can withstand all the evil that happens daily.  I need your help Lord each and every day. I ask that you listen to my prayers for the following needs:

Thank-you Lord for all of your blessings, thank you for all of your answered prayers to come and those of you have already answered and I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

God Given Gifts

God Given Gifts| God is amazing and he has given you a present. Your God given gifts are something you can discover. #podcast #christianpodcastGod Given Gifts Episode 79

God is amazing and he has given you a present. Your God given gifts are something you can discover. In today’s episode, I share a personal story about how God used my son, who the world would consider a struggling learner. He did me a favor this week that just blew me away and I give all the glory to God!

Thanks to our sponsor, BrightIdeasPress.

Today I share a heartfelt story about the amazing God we serve. I’ve been sick, fever, flu for about a week and yesterday I realized the neatly packaged boxes, fixed with goodies for my two college, out-of-state students sat waiting for the homebaked goodies I never made! I couldn’t make them too early and then last week I planned to mail it on Friday for a sure delivery by Thursday. Since I was so upset about this failure, I asked my oldest son, Neal, if he’d go shopping for two Valentine’s cards for me. I wanted one that was to a daughter and one to a son. I’ve asked Neal in the past under emergencies to shop for me because he has this gift!

Well, he purchased them and today I finally had the energy to quickly whip up some baked good. As they were baking I took the cards out and almost started to cry! They were perfect. Both were delicately wrapped in plastic, were not ridiculously expensive as we all know cards can be, and had amazing words! I share what each said on the air.

If I had sent my husband the results would be far from similar. These cards were heartfelt and described how I felt about my children. I asked him how long it took him to select the cards and he said fifteen minutes! God has given him a gift. God gives each of us special gifts. And we tell our son this over and over again.

  • Do you know what your gifts are?
  • Do you use the gifts that God has given you?
  • Do you help others identify their gifts?

If we work under the gifts of the Holy Spirit it is amazing how God will bless these efforts. All grace, all power, all glory goes to God. This is the son we were so concerned about for so many years. I am thanking God once again for His mercy, His grace and His providence for my family. I pray this story inspires you. If felt it was a story God wanted you to hear.

Dear Lord, we praise you and we thank you. I want to shout from the rooftop for the entire world to hear that you are the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, The Bright Morning Star, The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. You are worthy my God of all praise. I know you hear all our prayers even those in the depth of our heart. You can answer them anytime so we ask you once again for our own personal intentions. Thank you, God, that your words and promises are true and I pray this in Jesus Precious Name. Amen.

 

 

Abortion And Sacrifice

Abortion | Abortion has taken on a new meaning. What happened to love? In our world, it seems that love is no longer a factor in so many people's life.  #podcast #christianpodcastAbortion and Sacrifice Episode 78

Abortion has taken on a new meaning. What happened to love? In our world, it seems that love is no longer a factor in so many people’s life. The recent news has shown the sin of abortion toward the unborn. We as Christians need to wake up and take a stand and I see the root cause of this is an issue of sin, yes–but a lack of love.

Thanks to our sponsor The Christian Standard Bible. You can find more information at CSBible.com. Our sponsors help us tremendously by providing the needed funding to bring you this show as well as others on the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network for free. Again, check out CSBible.com for more information.

Recently I heard a riveting talk by a Jewish convert to Catholicism, Roy Schoeman, a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School. He had an amazing conversion experience which he details in his book, “Salvation is from the Jews.” The topic of his talk wasn’t about conversion it was about the occult and some religions outside of Christianity and Catholicism. The details were remarkable, and I urge you to check out his website.

In his talk, he covered many things but what struck me are what he termed the sins the cry out to heaven for vengeance, or “the sins that cry out to heaven.”

Sins That Cry Out To Heaven

  1. Murder of a child by the parent, (or the killing among families)
  2. The sin of the “sodomites.”
  3. Slavery and marginalization of people
  4. Taking advantage of people and defrauding

 

What struck me the most was the first one, the murder of a child by the parent. He gave an example in scripture about the war between Israel and the Moab. 2 Kings 3. The Israelites were winning the battle, and . as they were in retreat, the King of Moab realized they were loosing. Listen as I read this passage:

King of Moab Sacrifices His Son to satan (god of Moab) ~ 2Kings 2: 26-27

When the king of Moab realized that he was losing the battle, he took seven hundred swordsmen with him and tried to force his way through the enemy lines and escape to the king of Syria,[c] but he failed. 27 So he took his oldest son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him on the city wall as a sacrifice to the god of Moab. The Israelites were terrified[d] and so they drew back from the city and returned to their own country.

The king offered up his son to the god of Moab. Who is this god of Moab? It is the devil. He offered his son to satan. Why is this important? Because love is a powerful thing. If he loved his son, and I am sure that he did, giving up his son was a huge sacrifice. However, love was not enough. The power of evil was stronger because of the sacrifice of the son to the god. The decision of this king was for himself. He was selfish. He wanted to win. He wanted something he desired more than he wanted his son to live. So he sacrificed his son to a god. A god that we think, “well this god does not exist,” but the entity he sacrificed his son to was satan.

King kills his son and wins.

The connection between the king slaughtering his son and abortion hit me. We all know about abortion, and if you are listening to this podcast, my educated guess is that you agree abortion on demand is evil. However, I never thought of abortion in terms of the fact that a mother is killing her child in the same way as the sacrifice of the king of Moab. Think about it. If abortion is evil – and it results in death, the death of an innocent child, therefore the sacrifice of a child for the selfish reasons of the mother, whatever that might be is, in essence, a sacrifice to satan.

Our speaker explained that evil has power. And we can see that in the sacrifice by the King of Moab which turned around the war. There have been so many abortions, and that has fueled the hate in the hearts of those at the top of government the governor just signed a law reaffirming that a woman can have an abortion all the way up to birth. Another governor from Virginia in a radio interview explained they were hoping to pass a similar bill. The evil side has power. The speaker further explained that satan does not want people to think he exists. You can see that as well.

Where is Love?

Love of the human race is ultimately replaced by love of self. I won’t go into all the terminology used to spin abortion in a good light – we know it is false. It has nothing to do with women’s reproductive rights and everything to do with satanic sacrifice and worship. I can see that clearly. As a mother of five and two miscarriages, I know the power of love. The love of a mother, the love a mother has for her child.

The love of a mother should be sacrificial. If our children are hurting, we will do anything and everything we can for that child. We would lay down our lives for our children. But that is not what I see today. I see women who are hurting and confused pushed into abortions by those they think love them. If they are truly loved would they consider harming their own child?

Abortion is Murder of a Child

Abortion is murder, but now it has another face, it is a ritualistic sacrifice to the evil one. Friends, we can no longer sit back and allow the politicians and the court of the public to make decisions for us. We must pray as we’ve never prayed before and plead to heaven as a reminder that this is the number one sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance.

I keep thinking this is a nightmare and that I will wake up and find out it is a horrible dream, but day after day I hear the relentless chatter on the news that everyone is up in arms because 80% of the population is against late-term abortions. What about 80% against all abortions? How can any abortion be okay? I know how I felt when I lost a child in a miscarriage. What is the mental cost of a woman who has an abortion and later realizes she has killed her child? There are recovery groups of those who have had an abortion. One group Silent No More link helps women and men who are suffering from the effects of their decision.

Another point made by the pastor, Father Cooney after the talk is that these human sacrifices do have strength in making evil stronger. And, the church, Christians as a whole are lacking in faith. Our churches are full, but the faith of the average person sitting in the pew is in need of a revival. Maybe, friends, this is our revival. It is time we do something in the form first of prayer, and second in fasting. Fasting and prayer is a secret weapon of Christians that is not utilized. I have a special friend who I know has amazing results when she prays and fasts. It works!

Pray ~ Pray ~ Pray

We need to pray not only for an end of abortion but for the Lord to infill mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters with love. The love that comes from God. The love that will change hearts. If our world was filled with love if we could get along with each other, if we were focused on the task of following the Lord’s will for our lives we would not have this nightmare in our time.

So, friends, we have a job ahead of us, we have to pray as we’ve never prayed before. I am asking you to join me in asking the Lord for a miracle.

Dear Lord, I praise you like never before. You are the Almighty One, The King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. My God I worship you as the true God, the Alpha, and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Lord, I thank you for life, I thank you for each of the children you have given me and I lift them up to you by name. I thank you for my family, my extended family and all those loving people you have put in my life. I ask you, Lord, to hear our prayers. I know you are victorious and the battle over evil has been won, and I claim that in the precious Name of Jesus. I ask that you protect our country and our world and please stop this insidious call for abortion on demand. I ask you, Lord, to fill us with your love, fill us to overflowing because true loves cast out all fear and we should not be fearful but put on the armor of Christ to defeat the evil one. We can do nothing without you, Lord, this I know. So I ask that you empower those with real power to combat this on the local, state and national level. That you infill us, your prayer warriors with direction and instruction to join the Army of Christ. And, I pray this in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.

to join the Army of Christ. And, I pray this in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.

Second Chances

Second Chance | Is there a time for second chances? Of course, there is and we see that again and again in the Scriptures. #podcast #christianpodcastSecond Chances Episode 77

Is there a time for second chances? Of course, there is and we see that again and again in the Scriptures. We find the opportunities in our own lives to try for a second time. We are close to the New Year as I record this episode and one of the traditions is making a New Year’s Resolution. For years, I’m not afraid to admit I would not do it because I was afraid of failure. If you don’t make a resolution, a plan, and attempt to change then guess what? There is no failure. Or is there?

Well, just the simple act of not doing anything in truth is failure. We must strive to make gains each day, to grow in our faith, in our relationships and be present for those around us. When we make a plan or a resolution to change our behavior or bad habits we are trying to become a better person not just for ourselves but for those who surround us.

The Bible is a wonderful example to use for ourselves to see the way that we were redeemed throughout Scriptures. Much importance is put on Moses and freeing the Israelites from oppression, and we know the story, the Israelites at first could not leave behind the idols and we learn that not only did Moses go up to the mountain of Mt.Sinai to receive the 10 Commandments from God, but he went up twice! How often have you said, well if I were the people of Israel I would have been so happy to leave Egypt that I would want to change.

Habits. We get into bad habits and we have the hardest time letting them go. So, the people of Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years until they were shown the promised land. This was definitely a trial by fire. Yet, they were God’s chosen people.

Did you ever wonder what happened once they were in the promised land? You can read about it in Nehemiah Chapter 7 and then 8 – in this passage it tells us that Ezra the scribe was asked to bring out the book of the law of Moses “which the Lord had given to Israel,” and he read it from the town square in the presence of men and women, some who were specifically named in the Scriptures. Read Ezra 8:5-6

The people were so overwhelmed by the Word that they prostrated themselves on the ground. This was an opportunity for the people of Jerusalem to change their ways.

How different of a reception to the 10 Commandments to the people who had wandered and their descendants! Radically different. When we suffer we learn don’t we. We don’t want to make the same mistakes. The people of Israel had just returned after generations in exile so living according to the law would be something they were interested in that they bowed and worshiped the Lord with their faces on the ground. It was now an opportunity to change their lives and those of their descendants for the better.

In Isaiah 61:1 we also hear a call for freedom from captivity.

What captivity? What is darkness for prisoners? What are you captive to? What is the darkness that makes you feels as if you are a prisoner? It can be something simple from a bad habit, biting your nails, or eating the wrong foods that cause sickness or even telling lies, bad jokes, or gossip. Or it can be serious, and addiction that needs help.

God is a healer. He has brought us the good news to the oppressed and to bind the brokenhearted.

We often face rejection. From those nearest to us, those we love, our friends, neighbors – but Jesus too was rejected in his own home town as he was reading from Isaiah.

Luke 4:16-20 (read)

It was the beginning of his ministry – Jesus gave them a new opportunity, a new beginning a new life in essence. While many in his town rejected it we have a choice.

It is a free will choice. Will you be set free by the power of Jesus Christ? Will you let go of past hurts, of those you can’t forgive of all the ways you keep thinking about the way people have hurt you. Friends, we need to let it go. Life is not fair and we only get one life to live so how do you chose to live your life?

Let’s pray. Jesus, I chose you – I choose you every single time. I am thankful Lord and I give you all the praise. Thank you for coming for us, thank you for setting us free from oppression and from slavery. I chose yes Lord. I chose to follow your ways, to follow the ten commandments to being a new year, and a year acceptable to the Lord, or in the Lord’s favor. I ask Lord for the following need that is pressing on my heart and mind… Thank you Lord for your miracles and I know you can work miracles in my life as well. I thank you no matter what the outcome and I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Christian Marriage and God

Christian Marriage | Every Christian marriage has its ups and downs and when you think about marriage as a Christian it is important to look at the scriptures! #podcast #christianpodcastMarriage and God Episode 76

Every Christian marriage has its ups and downs and when you think about marriage as a Christian it is important to look at the scriptures! In this episode, we will explore the Bible and look at the example of the marriage at Cana as well as all the places where God shows up in every day in our lives.

Thanks to our sponsor CSBible.com

Christian Standard Bible #csbible

In changing water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana we look at it so many years later as the first time we see the Lord, Jesus performs a miracle. But in the gospel of John, he does not refer to it as a miracle, he calls it a sign. It was a sign that was performed in order to reveal God’s presence in human history. What does this sign reveal? It reveals so many things personally to me. First, Jesus performed the miracle because his mother, Mary asked. I often wonder, did Mary realize this was a first in human history? Did she realize that in asking her Son to bless the water and in turn create wine that was the best the guests had tasted that it was the beginning of His public ministry? Did Jesus previously perform miracles at home with just Joseph and Mary as a witness? There are so many questions that are left unanswered.

I believe that Mary was given Divine grace, first in her ability to say yes to the angel, Gabrielle so many years ago. Then, in the way to raise Jesus. The only glimpse we are given into his childhood is when He is lost for three days and Mary and Joseph had to return to the temple and when they did, they found him among the elders teaching. Was this a time that Mary and Joseph had an argument? The men and women did not travel together so they both possibly thought the other had Jesus and then somehow learned he was not among them.

How did this family deal with adversity with the Savior of the world in their care?

This leads us to our own families and the conflicts that often arise. There is no one marriage manual that explains the differences between men and women so well that we understand our spouse completely. There is no manual to read before entering into a marriage that will solve all of your marriage issues because marriage is fluid. It changes. I am definitely not the same person I was when I said, “I do,” many, many years ago. That person was used to getting her own way and compromise consisted of my husband saying he was sorry and next time he’d do it my way! Okay, I wasn’t that horrible but you get the picture.

Marriage changes us and if we focus on God as a couple it will help us get through all of the tough times to come. Thankfully, we committed on our wedding day before God and our friends and family to put God first. If you have not committed your marriage to God consider doing that today! If you are not married remember the importance of this covenant with each other. We read about covenants in Scripture.

  1. Isaiah uses wedding imagery (Isaiah 62:4-5) … “as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride,” and the metaphor of marriage, “makes your land his spouse,” which describes God’s relationship with the land, no… with us, with humanity. God is united with humanity as we are united with a spouse in marriage. Scriptures often use words that we understand to describe that which we can not possibly understand.
  2. A covenant and a bond is created various times throughout scripture. In Cana, Jesus transforms the water into wine. The water was used for ceremonial washings and the wine was used by the guests to celebrate the wedding. Again, common day symbols for an understanding at that time.
  3. Wine is again used at the Last Supper, where it becomes His blood on the cross. Jesus drinks from the cup at the Last Supper, but on the cross, He says, “Father if it is possible let this cup pass me by.” It was not possible and Jesus embraced the cross and His death. The cup of our salvation. Jesus is the bridegroom sent by God to humanity, which is His bride.

Just as Jesus lived life with challenges as God and as man, we too are called to live our lives as men and women.

We expect nations to get along and often cannot get along in our own families. These Scriptures show us the price paid for our salvation. We join in marriage as a covenant and a symbol to God and to the outward world of a promise. How does that promise get so messed up in our daily lives? Well, one is that we face so many pressures the minute we wake up!

Ask yourself and journal about the following:

  1. What is the covenant you’ve made with your spouse? (If you are not married what is the covenant with God?)
  2. How are you living a life that is pleasing to God?
  3. If you live a life that is pleasing to God how will that help you in your marriage?
  4. Thanking God each day for the gifts of life and all of the things that happen in your life is the first step to a long and happy marriage. Can you begin this today?
  5. God is love, does that translate into your married life?
  6. Looking at the word sacrifice is there any way you can sacrifice in your life or in your marriage more than God sacrificed for you?
  7. Can you begin to put God first in your life?
  8. Can you put your spouse and their needs above yours and after God?
  9. What does dying to self mean to you?
  10. Name one thing you can change beginning today?

Love is a sacrifice. The two cannot be taken apart. We believe that love conquers all things and it does to a certain extent but until I learned to die to self, which is one of those very hard life lessons, things did not get better. We serve a selfish God. He wants all of us, not the leftover self we give him for two seconds before we fall asleep at night.

If we want a wonderful marriage we must have a wonderful covenant with God. Begin today.

Dear Lord, I praise you for all things even those things I’d rather not be happy about in my life. I know that all things are known by You, still Lord I want to ask you specifically for ___________. Lord allow me to pray for those nearest to me daily. Let me be a prayer warrior for them, please call to mind instances when I should pray for them. Dear Lord, I praise You and I thank-you. You are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and I am honored to serve such a mighty God. I thank you ahead of time for all the answered prayers and I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

Christian Transformation

Christian Transformation | Have you had a Christian transformation in your life? God sent His only Son so that we might live an abundant life and in this podcast, we will explore Christian transformation and look at the ways that we can apply this to our life. #podcasat #christianpodcastChristian Transformation – Episode 75

Have you had a Christian transformation in your life? God sent His only Son so that we might live an abundant life and in this podcast, we will explore Christian transformation and look at the ways that we can apply this to our life.

We witness the power of God’s love in the Bible. If you have not made it a habit to read Scripture every day be sure to add it to your list!

You can listen to my last podcast Prayer and Routines here.

We all have some type of life transformation but it might not be in the spiritual sense. It might be weight loss or gain. It might be an addition or loss in your family. Transformation can cause us heartache but when we are transformed by the power of God’s word it can be life-altering.

When we read about the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River we are astounded once again by God’s love. Jesus is an example of becoming poor to make us rich. John himself said he was not worthy to even tie his sandal, yet Jesus asked to be baptized.

God’s love is transforming, read: Isaiah 40:1-10 … We read, “A voice of one calling: In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lordmake straight in the desert a highway for our God. 

This is a foreshadowing – a prophecy about the coming of John, the voice calling in the wilderness, and it was written when the Israelites were living in exile. 

At times we can relate to the Israelites. In this time we live of divisive politics where right is wrong and wrong is right. We are dismayed if we watch the news for any length of time and find ourselves frustrated no matter what side you are on. We hold on to this promise to the Israelites that the God of Isaiah is also our God and He knows what we struggle with on a daily basis.

In Acts, Peter speaks in the house of Cornelius, the first Gentile convert. He says, “God shows no partiality.” Now we learn that the God of the Israelites is the God of all and the Christian community is being formed among believers. (Acts 10:34)

Paul also writes to Titus that through Baptism and the Holy Spirit, we can become heirs in hope of eternal life (Titus 3:..-10) and I’d love for you to pull out your Bibles and read this directly, it is as if God is speaking to us today.

Isn’t that amazing? We lived in malice and envy being hated and hating one another … but with the KINDNESS and love of God our Savior appeared. And, friends that is what we must live for, we have Christian transformation when we focus on the fact that he saved us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.

This is true transformation. Trusting in God. Knowing that we are justified by grace and we have the hope of eternal life. Who else gives us this hope? Our family. No. The people we work with. No. The friends we surround ourselves with. No. The only person who gives us eternal hope is the same one who died on the cross, for our sins, so that we can have this promise.

John promises that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. This baptism after the life, death and resurrection of Christ set into the motion the baptism of the Holy Spirit upon the disciplines and in a sense to us, and this baptism of fire is what is transforming in our lives.

The Holy Spirit was sent to transform us. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. One God, three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This God we serve is an amazing God and ready to help us in our daily trials. If we have been baptized we have transformative power of the Holy Spirit within us and for that we should shout, Halleluiah and praise the Lord! God is within us and we only need to ask for His saving grace in our life.

Do we realize that we as believers and followers of Christ can pray for a deeper infilling of the Holy Spirit in our lives? Do you want to see true transformation, then try this tonight at the foot of your bed, or anytime you want the true restorative help of God in your life…

Dear Lord, I come to you sinful and sorrowful and I ask first that you forgive me of the sins I have committed today … I ask that you bless me with your restorative love and infill me with the Holy Spirit. Bring me to a deeper union with you, my God. Help me to see you in everything. Help me to be thankful each day no matter what the circumstance. I thank you for your promise of everlasting life and a true transformation that only comes with belief in Christ. I praise you and I thank you, my God. Thank you for giving me your Holy Spirit, thank-you for deepening my love for you, thank-you for infilling me to overflowing with the grace to do Your will each day, and I praise you in Jesus Name, Amen.

Routines and Prayer

routines and prayers | When life throws you a curve falling back on routines and prayer are helpful for a Christian. #podcast #christianpodcastRoutines and Prayer For Christians

When life throws you a curve falling back on routines and prayer are helpful for a Christian. In this episode, we will focus on making the most of your daily routines to include prayer.

With the holidays ending there is still so much on my to-do list it seems to be never-ending. In fact, I’ve stopped making the lists because I felt like I spent half of my time just adding most of it to the next day. During this time I realized one thing that helped me tremendously and that was my daily prayer routines, and that is what I’d like to encourage you to do as I believe it will be helpful.

What is the difference between routines and habits? I believe they are both similar. A routine is actually the “doing” of a habit. There are many lists out there for good Christians to follow and I find most of them overwhelming. Keeping your routines simple give the opportunity for growth, which is my goal. My husband often says if you are not growing in your relationship with the Lord then you are not stagnant, you are actually going backward. While you may not agree with this philosophy for me it gives me pause to think.

Some people overanalyze and I am one of those people. When things go right, I tend to go with the flow but when they don’t then I’m ready to figure out the why behind it. During the busy holiday season and even afterward, I felt further and further behind with my prayer time and Bible time until I realized that it really wasn’t true and with some of the routines I had in place, I was actually on autopilot which allowed me to make the most of my time with the Lord as well as time with my family.

What are your goals as a Christian?

  1. Time for prayer
  2. Time for reading the Bible
  3. Time to grow in my relationship with the Lord
  4. Time to look at my life and make changes
  5. Time to share my faith
  6. Time for family and friends

Your goals can be different than mine but look at how you are spending your time growing in your faith and the things you’d like to change. As always start small and add to the list, and give yourself a break. When things don’t go as planned don’t get down! What are the constants in your life and are there ways to improve upon them, if not go to the next item on your list.

My goals have changed as I have grown in the Lord and as I’ve shared in previous podcasts for me the quiet time and just listening was and to a certain extent now the hardest obstacles in my life. The only place I come the closest to listening to the Lord is at church. There is something about church that gives me time to focus on the Lord and just close my eyes and listen.

Please know that I have felt a closeness to the Lord in different degrees all of my life thus far, and like the waves on the beach that closeness at times has ebbed and flowed. There are times I’d pray and only hear silence. I believe it is in those times of silence that the Lord teaches us to be disciples and allows us that quiet to do an inner reflection. It also takes discipline to be quiet before the Lord and for many of us–myself included that discipline is needed. It takes all our strength to persevere, but please, please do not give up!

It may mean we have to repent before the Lord. Ask the Lord if there is something we need to ask forgiveness for. For me often it was stress and not relying on or trusting in Him. I’ve had to ask the Lord’s forgiveness for my lack of trust. Do I know, intellectually that the Lord is in charge of everything and that He has it all under control? Of course! Yet it is difficult for us to trust without holding back.

Do you have a place to pray? Where is your place? Do you have a prayer chair? A prayer corner?

Talk about the lady who prayed and even asked God about what plants she should plant…

So, the focus today is on routine, habits and growing in your faith. Pick one thing today to focus on and begin now.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord, I thank you for giving me a sense and a heart for loving You and wanting to be in Your presence. Thank you for giving me the gift of faith and for allowing it to grow each day. I ask that You help me with the daily routines, and allow me the time to follow them in order to spend time with You not only in prayer and petition but time in silence. It is in the silence that I learn discipline and to be a disciple. In the silence, I learn what it is about myself that needs to be changed. Lord, is there something that I need to repent and ask forgiveness for? Is there something I am lacking? It is in the asking that we are freed and I ask this Lord in Your precious name. Dear Lord please help me in my prayer routines and to create good habits in me. I also ask for the following intentions …  thank-you my God for always being here for me. And, I pray this in Jesus, Precious Name. Amen.

New Year And Faith

New Year and Faith | Try these things to jump start the new year. #podcast #christianpodcastNew Year and Faith

Beginning the new year with joy and a plan of focusing on increasing our walk with the Lord in the best way possible is the topic of today’s podcast. A simplified approach is the best for busy people, and here are some pointers to help you.

  1. Rejoice in the Lord always – Phillipains 4:4
  2. Gratitude – 1 Thessalonians 5 — Be thankful for the small things and the big things be grateful for the faith
  3. Focus – on one thing — what is the one thing you can do to increase your faith? Your prayer life?
  4. Begin anew. Something you were doing but stopped? Journaling? Reading the Bible? Praising God each day?
  5. Attitude recheck. Are you upset or depressed? Give it to the Lord  — Philippians 4:6-7
A prayer to help you in the new year:

Dear Lord Jesus, I love you very much and I thank you for the simple message today to refocus and renew my love for you, for all things that are good and holy and let the rest drop away. I ask that you infill me with your Holy Spirit, that you give me the wisdom for the things I should do as well as those things I should not do. I ask that you bless those who I pray for now ….

Dear Lord thank you for the gift of faith and the opportunity to praise and rejoice in your goodness. I ask you to bless us as we prepare for a brand new year and give us the fortitude to do your will. I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Home and Promise

Hope and Promise |The joy of the Lord is almost among us and we wait in hope and promise! In this episode, we celebrate the coming of Jesus in a new way. |#podcast #christianpodcast #christianHope and Promise Episode 72

The joy of the Lord is almost among us and we wait in hope and promise! In this episode, we celebrate the coming of Jesus in a new way.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, Inc. You can find books and products on MediaAngels.com as well as on Amazon. I highly recommend getting a copy of One More Child when the book releases as well as A Few Minutes with God or the Truth Seekers Mystery Series for your children.

The hope and promise that Jesus gives us in the here and now – and it happens each and every day. We could not have hope without a cross and resurrection, something my pastor reminded me of the other night when he came for dinner.

He made an interesting comment. He said, there is talk of joy and thanksgiving but people forget the heavy price that came for that joy and thanksgiving to take place. That price was the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.

That price is also the fact that our Lord became man.

We pay the price each day. In those little and big dramas in our life. In our frustrations. In our inability to cope or to get along with others. In dealing with members of our family or in suffering the loss of loved ones.

That price comes at a heavy cost in our lives as well. Yet, there is hope.

We miss these little gems if we are not careful to see them. As we seek the coming of the Christ Child at Christmas, the death and Resurrection at Easter and the waiting for the second coming of our Lord we can have joyful anticipation. The promise is real.

We sing, “Oh Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” and I love that name! It means, “God with us.” It makes my heart sing because I know that God is already here. He is with me each and every day.

Zephaniah 3:17 NIV  — “The Lord your God is with you…”

Zephaniah 3:17 New American Bible states, “The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior, Who will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, Who will sing joyfully because of you.”

The Lord God is in our midst and a might savior – is among you.

Isaiah 12:6 – “Shout with exultation, City of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel!”

The Lord is near Philippians 4:5)

As Baptized Christians we have already received the Holy Spirit – God is already with us, so we should witness to God’s presence and how can we do this?

  1. SMILE – that costs you nothing
  2. Find time to spend with the Lord! If we are filled up with the love of God it will spill out to others.
  3. Treat others with kindness
  4. Treat others fairly
  5. Be content with what we have!

Friends we live in a hurting world and as my pastor says, without the cross we can have no resurrection but I find that so many people are focused on themselves and their situations that it is almost impossible for them to pick up their heads and look at others.

Giving of yourself costs nothing. It costs a smile, a hug, patience at the store or while driving. It is a small cost for what the Lord has done for us.

How can we bring the joy of Christmas to others? By having the Lord in our hearts. That is the absolute best gift you can give anyone, the gift of faith.

Let’s pray.

Dear Lord today we pray for all that you offer in the promise of Christmas – all of the blessings, all of the joy that comes from your love for all of us. I ask that you translate this joy into our hearts, into the hearts of our loved ones and especially for those who struggle at this time of the year. True joy. Everlasting joy. Eternal joy. Only comes from you. As the Lord and Savior, as Emmanuel, God with us you can infuse in our hearts this joy that surpasses all understanding. I ask for an infilling of your most Holy Spirit to overflow in my life. I ask that you hear the prayers and petitions I set before you … I praise you my God and I am humbled and awed that you ask me to be your servant. That you chose me – each one of US that is listening today. You have called us by name and you are here in our midst. Thank you Lord for the greatest gift of all – the gift of faith and salvation. I praise you and ask a blessing on all those listening and all those we pray for … thank-you, my God. I pray this in Jesus, Name. Alleluia, Alleluia.

Christian Preparation

Christian Preparation | Prepare the way of the Lord, that is the cry for Christian preparation. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #podcastChristian Preparation Episode 71

Prepare the way of the Lord, that is the cry for Christian preparation. The early Jews and Gentiles did not understand nor did they have the wonderful ability to read about God in the Bible. We do! In this episode, we will study what it means to prepare and to await the coming of our Lord.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, Inc. You can find books and products on MediaAngels.com as well as on Amazon. I highly recommend getting a copy of One More Child when the book releases as well as A Few Minutes with God or the Truth Seekers Mystery Series for your children.

If you listen to my podcasts in order then you learned in the last one about the beginning of the Christmas season with the start of Advent. Today we talk about waiting in preparation but also understanding that the ministry of God was not an easy one. John the Baptist announced the coming of Jesus after his time in the desert. We are in a time of freedom from sin and a time of forgiveness through repentance. In Isaiah, we read, “A voice of one calling; In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord…” The voice of John the Baptist in the desert asks us to prepare the way for the Lord – we are to make our paths straight in the desert a highway of God.

Friends, what is cluttering your life? What is standing in the way of God? What is the roadblock or the bump in the road that is difficult for you to navigate around? Is there one? Give yourself some time to reflect. If you are keeping a daily journal think about this, and be honest with yourself. Whatever that obstacle, whatever that problem, nothing is too big or our GOD. Our God is there for us and as Christians we must prepare.

You know I love the idea of accepting God as my personal Savior but that is just the beginning. It is not the end. Christian preparation is an everyday thing.

Reflect upon these points:

  1. What are your last thoughts before you go to bed at night?
  2. What do you think about when you wake up in the morning?
  3. Do you think about God during the day?
  4. Do you thank God during the day?
  5. Do you feel joy in your heart when you think about God?

Reflections are not to make us feel bad or inadequate, they are to give us an idea of where we are going or what needs work. As I shared these points with you I know there are two areas where I need major work.

Christian preparation means praying before we go to sleep and trusting in the goodness and providence of God for our needs. Notice I said needs and not necessarily wants, although the Lord hears these as well.

I for one want to answer the calling of John in the desert to prepare the way of the Lord.

I do this by listening to Christian music – I did a podcast and I’ll put the link in the show notes about Christian music I love that is uplifting. At Christmas time I love to listen to Michael W. Smith’s classic albums of Christmas. What better way to prepare than to sing in glory to God.

Praising God in song will bring you joy. Another way to have joy is to forgive. Who is it that you need to forgive. If you say no one that means you have not given yourself time to think! I promise you we all have to forgive someone and often the person you need to forgive the most is yourself!

Dear Jesus … give us a servants heart and allow us to embrace all that you have in store for us this Christmas season. I want to know you – to love you and to serve you all the days of my life. Starting this very moment Lord, I want to be known as a follower of Christ. I will not compromise truth which you have laid out in the Holy Bible, which you have passed on in the word to generations of faithful men and women and which you showed by example when you lived on this earth. Dear Lord let me keep my eyes focused on you — not on the fleeting things of this world that get me off track. I want to praise you Lord in joy and in song. Thank you for coming as a tiny baby to a poor family – thank you for living a life that was an example of kindness, love, and compassion, thank you for dying on the cross and rising – to give us new life. Dear Lord, I bring you my prayers and needs and lay them before your feet… and I pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

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Advent

Advent | When we celebrate Advent, we are waiting for the coming of the Lord. Advent means coming in Latin. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #homeschoolAdvent Episode 70

Do you realize we are always waiting? When we celebrate Advent, we are waiting for the coming of the Lord. Advent means coming in Latin. In this episode, we will explore the hope we find at Christmas time and how this hope can translate our lives for the better.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, Inc. You can find books and products on MediaAngels.com as well as on Amazon. I highly recommend getting a copy of One More Child when the book releases as well as A Few Minutes with God or the Truth Seekers Mystery Series for your children.

We are always waiting for something! If things are difficult in your life you wait for them to get better. We wait for a new opportunity, a new job, a new house or car. We wait and wait and often we find that our happiness hinges on this waiting and what the waiting will bring. The things of this world are fleeting. And while we realize that with head knowledge our hearts beg to differ.

During the time before Christmas we have many distractions but essentially they can be distilled down to two points.

  1. We get caught up in the materialist theme of Christmas… decorations, presents, and food
  2. Or we can focus on the true meaning of Christmas — That Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe gave us His only begotten son, allowed His Son to live among a humble man and woman, Joseph and Mary… living the life of a poor carpenter, so that we could have Salvation.

In the weeks before Christmas, we can be in hopeful waiting and anticipation for the coming of Jesus into the world. The four Sundays and weeks of Advent allow us to prepare and remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.

My family celebrates with prayer every evening. We light the four candles of the Advent wreath, one each week to symbolize the days of anticipation. The wreath has three purple candles and one pink, for the third week. The wreath is a circle of evergreen branches laid flat to symbolize eternal life. On Christmas day a fifth white candle is lit, representing Christ.

Each evening we pray, by reading different Scriptures and lifting up people in prayer and petition to the Lord. At the end, we celebrate the day by thanking God for one or more things that happened.

Advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation. But we don’t have to throw out all of the traditional celebrations. I know of people who are good and committed Christians who decided that Christmas is essentially a pagan holiday and refuse to put up a tree or exchange gifts. I respect each person and how they wish to celebrate, however, for us it is the melding of two worlds without compromising our faith in God.

God comes first – Christmas is the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus but it also reminds us of the second coming. When we celebrate the past, the birth of Jesus we look forward to the future, the coming of Christ to judge the living and the dead. We must be vigilant and not allow the anxieties of daily life to distract us.

In Luke 21:34 we read:

“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.

This also relates to Christmas time – we can celebrate the season without becoming all consumed in the celebration and preparation that we forget all about God.

This also reminds us to keep anxiety at a minimum, remember the podcast a few episodes ago where I relayed the important information about where to find God. We find Him today – we focus on today. We don’t worry about the past and allow it to cause us anxiety or grief and we don’t worry about the future where things may or may not turn out the way we fear! Fear and anxiety are not what the Lord wants for our life!

1 Thessalonians 3:7-13  – In verse 12 it says, “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.”

If the Lord increases our love for others as we prepare for the coming of the Lord, we cannot help but rejoice. This love of God will flow out to others and they will say, “What is different about you.”

This waiting and expecting can be a time of great joy no matter what is happening in your life. By taking out eyes off of ourselves and placing them on the joy of the Lord, we can only grow in strength and wisdom to fight the good fight.

I pray as we begin our prayers for this Advent season that it becomes the best one ever!

Dear Lord Jesus, I love you very much and I thank you for coming into this world to save us! I thank you for giving us these days of preparation to place you deeper and deeper into our hearts so that we can reflect the love you have for us and bring others joy as a result. Lord help us to overcome our anxieties and worry and I place all my needs, especially this specific need for which I pray into your most capable hands ……. Thank-you Lord for hearing my prayers and petitions and for granting me the desires of my heart. Thank you, Lord, thank you for all you do in my life and for all the graces you give me each day to combat the evil one! I pray for the joy that surpasses all understanding today and always, Amen!

Fishers of Men

Fishers of Men | What does it mean to be fishers of men? It means first hearing the Word of the Lord and placing it in our hearts. Only in that way can we follow.| #podcast #christianpodcast #fishersofmenFishers of Men

We want to be fishers of men because, for me, the ideal is to be used for the Lord’s work. In this episode, we will discuss how we can hear the Lord’s calling in the words of the Scriptures and how He can lead us to share the good news!

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc., and the book – A Few Minutes with God and Truth Seekers Mystery Series.

What does it mean to be fishers of men? It means first hearing the Word of the Lord and placing it in our hearts. Only in that way can we follow.

In the Book of Romans, we read that while we can confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord — we must also believe in our hearts. Let’s read Romans 10: 9-18 together.

This is such great news because we hear many things:

  1. We must believe.
  2. No one who believes will be put to shame
  3. The Lord is Lord of all
  4. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved

But, just as important for all of us is what we have been learning and practicing in this series of podcasts and that is listening. The Scripture further goes on to say, “…And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” Without spending time with the Lord we can’t come to know him. “…But not everyone has heeded the good news; for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us.”

How can we share the good news without instilling it in our hearts and living our lives as if we believe? This is totally by the grace of God but a grace He can most definitely give to us. If we have heard the good news and the love the Lord has placed in our hearts for Him, we will not be able to contain the joy.

As I record this podcast we are approaching the Christmas season and it is definitely a time of great joy and great sorrow. Sorrow for those we have lost, for those we are estranged from and for all the regrets that seem to plague us. It is also a time of great joy not for what we will find under the tree on Christmas day but we are a joyful people because of the good news… we have heard the Lord and we are following Him. God’s words give us life. god’s words are true, enduring they last forever. God’s words are more precious than gold.

In Matthew 4:18-22 we read about Jesus as he meets his disciples.

In this Gospel we are delighted as we learn that the men, simple by the world’s standards are drawn to Jesus and leave all that they know, their livelihood, their family to follow him. How likely are we to drop everything and follow Jesus as these men did.

Sometimes I think that the simple in worldly ways are truthfully the people of God. They do not need to think, they act. And, I’m sure that the Lord provided His grace but they out of a simple act of obedience said yes. It was not the most traveled road. Conversely, it was a hard road to travel because we know the ending. One died at his own hands (Judas), one lived to an old age in exile, (John) and the remainder were martyred for their faith.

While our lives may not be easy we can learn so much from these men. Friends, as we approach each day, let’s pray that the Lord chooses us to be fishers of men.

Dear Lord, I praise you that your Word is true, blessed and refreshing to our souls. I thank you for allowing us to join you, to come alongside you to share Your good news with others. I want to be a fisher of men, I want to proclaim the good news to all who will listen, to the ends of the earth, but you Lord have the perfect plan for my life. As I sit here and pray along with those listening, I ask that you hear our petitions for all of those that we pray for… Dear Lord hear our prayers and grant us the grace we need to go on each day. I thank-you today Lord for all the blessings you have provided for my life and those I love. And, I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

Something Out of Nothing

Something Out of Nothing | Only God can create something out of nothing – He did this in the Creation of the World and he does this all the time when He blesses. | #podcast #christian podcast #miraclesSomething out of Nothing — AFMWG – 67

Only God can create something out of nothing – He did this in the Creation of the World and he does this all the time when He blesses. In this episode, we will discuss how God rightly deserves our Thanksgiving!

Our sponsor — Heirloom Audios. Lasting value and spiritual benefits — Christian history – audio adventures. Movies for the Minds CD Sets  GiveTheAdventure.com

How many times do you give thanks each day? Blessings are something out of nothing. We can see the blessings in our lives but where do they come from? How do they come to be? It is from the Lord – but we don’t visibly see him.

I describe the effects of the Lord in our lives to the wind – and I’m sure I’ve used this analogy before. We feel the effects of the wind but we don’t see it. In the following examples, we will see how the Lord blesses His people and how those who are the ones he is blessing realize this and give him all the glory! This is a wonderful example for us.

King Solomon dedicates the Lord’s temple which was one of his greatest accomplishments. This temple was vast and greater than anything the people at the time have ever seen. But, Solomon’s dedication was thanksgiving to the Lord with prayers to God to bless the people. He thanked God for keeping all the promises God had made to the chosen people through Moses.

I Kings 8:22-23

Saint Paul also thanks God for the grace upon the people of Corinth. 1 Corinthians 1:3-6 — Thanksgiving for the Corinthians.

Paul realizes that in Christ the Corinthians are “enriched in every way.” And one of the most beautiful praises to God is from Mary – in Luke 1:46-50 It is called the Magnificat.

How wonderful that even the Mother of our Lord realized when she said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. — Praise be the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus – thank you for reminding us that truly something does come from nothing if you are the one behind all of the goodness in our lives. In the midst of wonderful things Lord let us remember that you are the one who is the ultimate source of all that is good, that is wonderful that is deserving of our thanksgiving. Lord help us to be thankful not only during seasons such as Thanksgiving or Christmas but also all the times in between. We praise you Lord and ask you to grant us the following: ——————- Thanks so much Lord for every good thing and I ask you to bless my family, to keep us in your loving care and for answering our prayers. In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faith & Generosity

Faith and Generosity | Can you give as the widow gave her last mite? | #podcast #christianpodcast #christian teaching

Faith and Generosity Episode 67

In our world, we have an abundance and sometimes we become complacent, in today’s episode we will discuss our attitude toward all things including the meaning of true generosity that comes from the heart.

Our sponsor — Heirloom Audios. Lasting value and spiritual benefits — Christian history – audio adventures CD Sets  GiveTheAdventure.com

In our world of overflow, there are times when an abundance makes us complacent. Many of us know where our next meal will come from. We don’t have to worry that there will not be enough food, praise God. Some years back there was an economic setback that made us evaluate our purchasing and I had to eliminate all the extras like bottled water, paper plates, and we used paper towels very sparingly. The clothes went out on a line and we only used the dryer in emergencies or rainy days. These hard times caused us to think and be frugal and 4 out of my 5 children are very frugal because of it.

In Scripture, we read about the widow and her son who had no money. 1 Kings 17:12

Can you imagine? Someone asks you to share your food and you have to say “When we have eaten it, we shall die” – yet she shares the last of her food with the prophet and God blesses her generosity. Can you imagine being in her situation? What would you do?

There are many who need our help and I am blessed to be in a church that does a good job of collecting money for what they call the St. Vincent DePaul society that gives to the poor. One Sunday at Mass the VP came and asked not for money but for volunteers! I am praying to join them at some point to help.

Sometimes you can’t give money but you can give your time.

We read of a similar situation but this time in the Widow’s mite – in Mark 12:44 we read — They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”  The widow gives her whole livelihood at the temple of the Lord. She gives not just the extra that she had, but everything she had. In this way, it is an example to us to give our first fruits or our best to the Lord. Again, if not in money then in time.

The ultimate of giving and generosity is Jesus. He is faithful to the Father – on the cross He says, Father, Your will not mine.  He gives his life to save humankind – but just not everyone else – US – he died to save us. You and me. In Hebrews 9:26 we read, “therwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.

— “Once for all he has taken away sin by His sacrifice.

We must be a beacon a light for others we must show our faith and generosity not because we believe or are kind but because we allow the light of the Lord to shine through us and how can he? If we are not spending time with him we will have a harder time.

Remember – to spend time with God daily – every day. Spend time talking to Him, writing in your journal make it the first thing you do not the last when you are exhausted and can’t give him your best.

Dear Lord Jesus, I praise you and I thank you – I appreciate all you have done for me, all the ways you have shown me that you care all the ways you have provided for me and my family. Dear Lord, I ask you to help us to give out of our abundance whether it is our gifts or talents. I love you Lord and I ask that you bless each one of us – and that you hear the prayers that are the most pressing on our hearts …………………………….. Lord, I know that you hear our prayers and I ask that you answer them, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

Thanking God

Thanking God When Things Happen Not Matter What Happens- Episode 66

Thanking God is difficult when things don’t work out the way we want. And this goes against everything in our human nature. I believe in God, but even science shows us that we are built for self-protection. It is what psychologists call the fight or flight mechanism. When we feel something hot we immediately pull our hand away, when we feel threatened we instinctively back up—so in this podcast we are going to discuss Thanking God in all things – which even means when things go wrong, when bad things happen and when we can’t do one more thing because there is a crushing weight upon us!

I recently heard an amazing speaker and she was full of energy, God’s love flowed out of her and she was truly anointed as she spoke – and she gave us that exact challenge. This lady is no stranger to adversity. Her son who recently came home from the service after many tours of duty in dangerous countries died in a one-car auto accident close to their home. He was her only son. Then not too long afterward her husband died after being diagnosed with an incurable illness and then he was gone. She speaks internationally, has her own television show, radio show, and many, many books and Bible studies. She travels the world proclaiming God’s love and joy. And yet she is no stranger to tragedy, not once but twice in her immediate family.

This lady told us that we had to thank God for everything. Thank God for cancer. Thank God for illness. Thank God for whatever it is that you don’t want to be thankful about!

Think about this. How can we be thankful when we do not feel thankful?

Similar to the podcast I did some time back on Forgiveness (link here) when we do thank God for everything – even the bad things what we ARE doing is an act of obedience.

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

Will you serve the Lord? If so at what cost? To some, the cost is to high.

Here is how I look at it – You can NOT outgive the Lord. In otherwords, if you help a stranger or if you do something nice for someone else, whatever that is… as little as letting someone in ahead of you in traffic or allowing the person with one item to go ahead in the grocery store, holding the door for someone else, all these are acts of kindness – then watch what happens in your life – the unexpected…(say something about motivation)

Maybe you are thinking – but I don’t do anything for anyone else, I don’t go out much I don’t see others – how can I give?

God does not look at what you do – he looks at your heart, and your motivation. IF you are only doing acts of kindness for something back, it is for yourself that you do these things. If you give freely without restraint or strings you are giving to the Lord.

Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. Deuteronomy 5:33

Thanking God even in the midst of hardship and adversity FOR THAT PROBLEM is an act of obedience.

So David went up in obedience to the word that Gad had spoken in the name of the Lord. 1 Chronicles 21:19

Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. Psalm 128:1

How can we outgive the Lord – you can’t … I remember one time thinking that I wished the Lord would use me for evangelization. But I was a stay at home, homeschool mom. How was I going to do this? I couldn’t!

So, you know what happened? God sent people to me. Literally. The guy who sprayed for bugs. The plumber. The door-to-door salesperson. The lady at the grocery store.

We listen to people, ask how they are doing – how did you get into this job? How long have you lived here (I live in Florida so people here typically moved from somewhere else.) and it was amazing, I’d get their life stories. Some even said no one even asked how they were doing and treated them as if they were invisible!

Let’s pray.

Dear Lord, we thank you for everything that is happening in our lives. We thank you for ____________ each of us has a special need Lord and you know our hearts. But you also know everything that happens in our lives – you are aware of it Lord and in your permissive will it is allowed to happen. Lord, I ask you for the spirit of obedience that you take away any obstacles in our lives that are holding us back. That you increase our love for you, that you fill us with every good thing so that we can be used by You to minister to others. By our obedience in the good and the bad make us an example of your love. We praise you and we give you all the glory, all the honor and all that is worthy of your praise. And, I thank you Lord! In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

Jesus Calling

Jesus Calling | Is Jesus calling you? | #podcast #christianpodcast #jesus #faithJesus Calling Episode 65

Is Jesus calling you? We all know the answer but maybe you are not aware of the ways He calls to you each day. In this episode, Felice shares how she missed all the times that Jesus was calling her and some tips that might be helpful for you in your daily life.

A Few Minutes with God – available on Amazon.

Friends, we live in a very heated political climate right now. There is no longer a right or wrong there is an only “my way or the highway,” approach to discussions. We just can’t avoid it and at best the allure to be conformational and prove our point sometimes gets ahead of us. Yet, is this how Jesus is calling you to respond.

We don’t understand God ways and even discussing him on this podcast makes me feel so inadequate. We face a daily challenge of living our lives and living them with Christian virtue. How will others see Christ if they can not see Him in us, especially if they know we are Christians.

I have a son who loves to wear Christian t-shirts. He also tends to be a hot-head and he is easily provoked by his siblings. I’ve often reminded him when we are heading out to an event or dinner that he is responsible for the words on his shirt. People will judge him in a harsher light if they see that he is over-reacting to a sibling instead of showing Christ’s compassion to them. (Especially if he is wearing a t-shirt that says, “Jesus saves,” or “God is love.”

If you need a devotional I recommend a wonderful little book by the title Jesus Calling and I highly recommend this as a gift for a loved one and a perfect gift for a high school student, or one leaving for college life. This book is filled with short thought-provoking readings taking less than five minutes to read with some wonderful Scripture references.

When you read the Bible or a devotional, listen. Look. Watch. Each day.

How does the Lord call to us each day? Is it to help a child? To prepare a meal? To smile at an elderly person in church or the grocery store? Is it to let someone ahead of you in line, or to help someone to unload their grocery cart?

How does the Lord call us each day? Is it in that still small voice? It is in a way that speaks comfort to our soul that could be in turmoil? If we spend time with the Lord, in His word, in prayer, in a quiet church we can soak up the comfort that only comes from God. We can offload our burdens to Him and His capable and loving heart. We can feel His arms around us and place our head on His shoulder like a child.

Do we have faith like a child? Do we really believe? Is God who He says He is there for us each and every day in the now, the right now? If He is and we believe then we should follow His call. Jesus does not ask much. We should offer Him our love and our obedience not because He needs either – God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit need nothing from us. Nothing. However, because of His love, we should want to be the best Christian follower we can be.

He calls us each and every day. He calls us in the good times. He calls us in the bad times. He calls us in the sunshine. He calls us in the rain. He calls us all of the time.

This verse in 1 Kings shows us the power of the Lord:

1 Kings 19 – 9-13 —  the Lord speaking to Elijah

We may not be blessed to hear the voice of the Lord our God as Elijah did – but we can hear His small still voice. Remember, a few minutes with God each and every day. Close your eyes and be present to Him.

Even if you do not feel anything or hear anything interiorly you know without a shadow of a doubt that HE IS HERE. The Lord is with you all the time. We learned as children that God is everywhere if He is everywhere and you are somewhere He is with you!

Dear Friends let’s pray.

Lord I, want to follow you, and I want to hear your call for me. Jesus I, know you call me each day and I miss those little signs. Please open my eyes to your calling each day. Open my eyes to the ways I should be present for my family, relatives and those in my life – those people you have surrounded me with. Nothing is an accident with You Lord you know every thing that happens in our lives. Nothing is a surprise. I ask Lord that you give me the grace to know You better, to hear your small still voice, to be present when I should be and to know the difference between busy work and work for the Kingdom of God. Help me to align my priorities to keep my focus on You and to do every good thing for the glory of God! And, I pray this in Jesus precious Name. Amen.

God in the Present Moment

God in the Present Moment | Where can you find God? | #podcast #christianpodcastPresent Moment Episode 64

God is in the Present Moment is an amazing concept and one I absolutely love. If you have listened to the other podcasters on this network you will see this is a topic many like to speak about. I’ve included some links to the other podcasts for you to enjoy on the topic of God in the present moment.

Recently, I was blessed recently to hear a wonderful Christian speaker, and she shared this very important insight in a unique way that I absolutely loved because it made so much sense to me.

I want to share this with you as well – but first I’d like to thank my sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. Please check out the books A Few Minutes with God and the soon to be released, One More Child. These will be available on Amazon and make great Christmas gifts.

Is God in the present moment?

God was there before all things began. God was not made he always was. He is beyond all that we can comprehend and using out words to describe him falls short.

God is everywhere – he is the light of the world and he knows all.

God will always be – even if the world or universe no longer exists, God will always be.

So, yes. God is in the present moment.

Which brings me to the important insight. And it centers around worry. I think sometimes we just can’t help it. We are concerned, we worry, we think.

We worry about the past. The things that we did. The problems we have. The tormenting ideas that just won’t go away. These are the could of, would of, should of …

We worry about the future. The what if’s – the tormenting ideas of problems that are not even happening yet. These ideas keep us up at night.

But we must remember in

Isaiah 43: 18-19

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

God doesn’t want us to dwell in the past, so many times there is nothing we can do and all the thoughts that we think about makes us sad or angry. We must rely on God in this present moment.

The insight explained the truth that God is not in the past – nor the future – he is in the here and now. God protects us, He is our refuge, He is our rock. In the present, He is here for us–because the present is our reality, the here and the now.

In 2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.”

We are a new creation in Christ. He has washed us clean. We must rely on and trust in Him. In the now.

If we really think about this friends it is freeing. The worry in the past or the future is giving into the weakness we have of concern that is not something that God can protect us from as they haven’t happened yet and more than likely if we are honest, won’t happen.

When my struggling learners were little and I was homeschooling I worried all the time that they wouldn’t be self-sufficient or they could not go to college or … whatever, fill in the blank. If it was a dire thought – I thought it~ I use to think, “If I can just get my son to 18 things will be so much easier.” I was wishing for the future instead of enjoying the now. I can tell you in hindsight everything worked out so much better than I hoped!

The same thing now with my two youngest in college in different states. They are far away. I have to trust the now – that God has them under His special mantle of protection. And, I pray that things turn out so much better than I can imagine!

Let’s pray –

Dear Lord, I pray for the here and now – where You are in this Present Moment. This is so important and it is difficult for me, I am fallible and I am weak. Please help me, Lord, to rely on You for all things. To carry me when I am weak, to watch out for me, for my loved ones and those in need of Your strong presence. Thank you, Lord, for directing me, for keeping me in your care. Dear Lord help me keep you in my focus and for the all the mercy and blessings you can give me. I pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

 

 

 

Mother Theresa’s Quotes

quotes from mother TheresaMother Theresa Quotes Episode 63

Have you read quotes from Mother Theresa? When my children were little we read about Mother Theresa’s life because she was, in essence, a living Saint. She went to Calcutta in India and helped the poor. But what made her remarkable among other things is that she didn’t just look at helping the poor, but the dying. One of the first people she rescued was a man lying in the gutter with maggots and in flit. She said that the Lord gave her the courage to pick him up – and she felt if she had not felt that urging and followed through she would not be able to continue her mission of helping others and eventually starting her own order of nuns.

We all carry our own burdens in life as did Mother Theresa, but we found out after she died that she felt she wasn’t hearing from God as she continued her journey like she did at the beginning.

As Mother Theresa didn’t stop her mission, her faith – even if she did not feel it the way she had as a younger nun did continue or she would have stopped her work!  Faith is a gift from God. We are all called but many do not hear.

In Matthew 28:20 Jesus said…

“…and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Just because we don’t hear the Lord or feel God’s presence, that does not mean you don’t have faith.

I thought I would share with you some of Mother Theresa’s quotes. If you can write them in your journal and think about the ones that speak to you!

Peace begins with a smile.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

Intense love does not measure, it just gives.

Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.

 Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.

The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

And the last two I want to leave you with…

What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.

Dear Lord, please help me to be the best I can be in this life. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit so that I can be filled with your Love. I love you Lord, Jesus and I want to follow you each day and serve those in need—even if it is just my family. Please help me to take that first step and guide the rest and I pray for my intentions and those listening …. Please Lord grant us the prayers of our heart, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Relationships Key To Happiness

relationships Key To Happy Relationships Episode–62

The key to happiness? It features your relationships. I didn’t make this up or even read about it online but I did happen upon this thought over a conversation with our pastor at dinner a few weeks ago. We are blessed to have an amazing associate pastor and he is full of Irish humor and wisdom. He is also one of the most widely read men I know. He has a firm grasp of what is happening today as well as historically and of course theologically.

Father Toner recently discussed many topics and one surrounded relationships. It was one of those tangents that came up that blew me away and I asked him to explain. One of the things he talks about is how limited we are in our vocabulary to describe and understand God. One of his gems is that we should pray, “God I love You as You know yourself to Be.”

Think about that!

He also discussed how our Relationships are directly related to our relationship with God. Here are the three keys.

  1. Relationship with God
  2. Relationship with self
  3. Relationship with others

First, our relationship with God must be solid. You must do what… if you said, Spend a Few Minutes with God – the name of this podcast I say, wonderful! Yes! You must spend time with God to have a relationship. Pray, Sing and then wait. Listen. Be still.

Even as a Catholic I have accepted God as my personal savior. The prayer which you can search of online, and I am sure I have spoken about it in earlier podcasts. The scripture sited the most is John 3 where Nicodemus Visits Jesus and they discuss what it means to be born of water and the spirit. Read John 3 it is wonderful.

Basically, you are saying to the Lord,

  1. Acknowledge sinfulness
  2. Acknowledge the need for forgiveness
  3. A belief that Jesus lived and died for our sins
  4. Agreement to turn away from sin and accept Jesus as our Savior
  5. Promise the Lord to commit to him and ask for an infilling of the Holy Spirit
  6. To help me be the kind of person He wants me to be
  7. And thanking the Lord in Jesus Name, Amen.

A one-time prayer is not the key, the key is a relationship with God and understanding the importance of His saving grace in our lives. The Lord wants us joyous and spirit filled with His love. How can we love others if we do not first love God the source of all love?

Corinthians – The Gift of Love

The second key is the love of self.

Yes, I know this sounds narcissistic – but bear with me. So many people are unhappy and do not understand where their unhappiness comes from. One key indicator is how they think about themselves.

  1. Do we acknowledge we are a sinner?
  2. Do we forgive ourselves for past sins?
  3. Do we realize that if we have asked for forgiveness – for us Catholics that means confessions – that we are, by the grace of God we are forgiven.
  4. Do we realize that God made us in His image – and that has importance?
  5. Do we realize God knows the numbers of hairs on your head and held you in his palm before you were born?

We are special friends – God does not make junk. We, if we are Christians and believe are redeemed by the power of the Lamb of God who laid down his life – once and for all for our sins. Not multi times – once. That is all it took.

Just as an aside for those who are listening and are not Catholic – we believe at the Mass we are reliving that one event – the one time that Jesus died at Calvary. We are doing what the Scripture says – “Do this in Memory of Me.” When we receive communion.

We realize friends that we must love the Lord and have a relationship – before we can move on and love ourselves.

And last – love others. This love is an outgrowth of the love flowing through us from the Father, being at peace with ourselves and understanding the having a servants heart an doing for others is a gift.

What about those we can’t love? Pray to God to love them. I have this situation in my own life and the Lord created an amazing healing.

Friends relationships are not easy – we live in a broken world. However, I pray that this helps you to begin to study about ways we can love God and have a relationship with Him, ways we must love and forgive ourselves and ways to love others as God leads us.

I pray that the Lord touches your heart and encourages you by faith and His grace to seek Him in a relationship, to have a relationship with ourselves where we are comfortable with who we are and help us to pour into others in a relationship built upon love, grace, and compassion. And, Lord I pray for those listening that you bless them and hear their prayers …. And I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen

 

The Armor of God

The Armor of God Episode 61

Putting on the armor of God we can fight anything because the battle is not ours. We keep thinking that the battle we are facing is of this world – it is not. We are not in heaven  — I know that is not a news flash, but it is true and we need to remind ourselves … when things go wrong we get upset. Especially those things we cannot control.

We are helping to promote this film to combat teen suicide. It is free along with the resources. Unseen Film –  UnseenFilm.org

The Bible tells us we are fighting a daily battle and it goes on to say, it is not against flesh and blood. Flesh and blood signifies humans. So if not human, then what? The power of darkness leads us to believe it is the fallen angels, those who turned their backs to God at the beginning of time. These enemies get the best of us from time to time.

Want to know how?

  1. Hopelessness
  2. Loneliness
  3. Sadness
  4. Depression
  5. Anger

But God has given us the tools in Scripture and his Church. We have pastors who we can go to for help if needed.

Anyone who plays sports and especially football can attest to the saying that the best defense is a good offense. The same with our spiritual lives. Do you give God time to fill you up? Do you have your few minutes with God.? Are you totally concentrating on Him or does your mind wander? It is human nature to have a mind that wanders but if your mind wanders in those things that upset you it is time for that good offense.

Read Ephesians 6:10-18 – The Armor of God

 The questions is …Whose plan are you going to follow??

Armor of God

  1. The armor – this is a garment that clothes us and keeps us from attack – like God’s Word
  2. Belt of Truth — where does truth lie? In our mind, in what we perceive to be right but unless you are grounded in Christ – who is pure holiness, love and truth we can be deceived, we must strive to honor truth. Psalm 86:11 – Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
  3. Breastplate of Righteousness – The breastplate covers our heart – without love we are nothing. If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
  4. Shoes fitted with the Gospel of Peace from the good news — we put on our shoes to go out, and in this case to be ready for battle and walk toward the place where the Lord leads us!
  5. Shield of Fath – to quench the darts of the wicked one – our shield defends us and our armor, and it moves no matter where we are being attacked. Fire makes me think of hell – and with the lord giving us the power to defend, we should rejoice.
  6. Helmet of Salvation – is a shield against temptation and a downward spiral – it is a fact that we must put our hope in Christ – we know that Salvation is through Jesus Christ and we belong to Him as Christians! 1 Thessalonians 5:8 -But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
  7. Sword of the Spirit –the sword is the word of God – we are told in Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Our defense against any hopelessness, loneliness, sadness, depression, anger is God’s Word. Read the Bible, listen to praise and worship music! Trust that the Lord will be there for you.
  8. Prayer – our best defense – Pray in the spirit at all times stay alert…

Let’s pray…

Dear Father God, you have given us all the weapons we need to combat the evil one and to protect us and we have them in the Armor of God that you gave us. You gave us the tools we need to live a life that is pleasing to you, that brings us out of sorrow and into joy. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are there for us – your Word is sharper than any two-edged sword. You have given us the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes fitted with the Gospel of Peace and good news, the shield of faith the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit! And we thank you for the gift of prayer and we thank you for all you do, we lift up our prayers and petitions to you Lord, please grant us the desires of our heart. I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.


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Peace of Living God’s Will

peace of living God's will | The peace of living God's will is easy with these tips. | #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #peaceofLivingGod'swillThe Peace of  Living God’s Will Episode 20

The peace of living God’s will can be found in so many aspects of our life. A number of years back when I was stationed at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, I was serving as the Director of Christian Renewal and overseeing two small households in the Renewal Center.

Visit the movie we are helping to promote, Unseen Film – it deals with the very real problem of suicide in our culture. The movie is free to watch and download on your computer.

Peace of Living God’s Will can be found in duty.

One of the women in the women’s household was a very capable women leader whose name is Sr. Ann Shields. She is now a part of the Sisterhood in Ann Arbor, Michigan and serves in the Ralph Martin Ministries. Sr. Ann was asked by Fr. Michael Scanlan to pick up women at the Pittsburgh Airport, whose name was Mother Theresa of Calcutta. A  benefactor at the University, a personal friend of Mother Theresa, asked her if she would come to the Graduation and receive the Poverello Medal. A medal of honor in the spirit of the poor man of Assisi, Francis. It is a medal given each year to a person who has made major contributions to the service of the poor. Sr. Ann herself has in public told this story.

The peace of living God’s will is available for everyone. 

Everything went well at the airport and they were on their way back to the University and crossing over the bridge from Weirton, West Virginia to Steubenville, Ohio. At that time all the steel mills were producing at full tilt, and the Ohio Valley was saturated with heavy air pollution. It seems that Sr. Ann was a little embarrassed and mentioned how unjust it was to pour out all this air pollution on the community. Mother Theresa response was something like, I really wouldn’t know because God hasn’t called or asked me to take responsibility for that!

When we are looking to discern and know God’s practical will in our lives we very much need to know two things:

  1. First, the goal of knowing God’s will is to give greater honor and glory to God.
  2. The second is to know what God has given me responsibility for in my life and what he has not!

In a tumultuous time in society when many individuals take self-appointed responsibility for many things and make negative judgments almost about everything, those of us who are concerned about discerning God’s practical will in our lives need to refrain from that thinking and behavior,  “Through the mercy of God offer your bodies as a spiritual sacrifice, pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed in the renewal of your minds, so that you know God’s will, what is good, pleasing, and perfect.”, see Rom. 12: 1-3.

There are many things big and little that we need to consult the Lord about! The big things: vocation, who should be my friends, who do I want to spend the rest of my life with? What is the vision and goals of our family life, what educational opportunities should we seek for our children?

Do we want to homeschool the children? job, what career path should I choose, professional training, where I live, what kind of car should I buy, finances, when should I retire etc. Little daily things, yet very important: What are my priorities? Spending time with the kids, frequent prayer time, vacation, amount of sports activities for the kids, support relationships, exercise, nutrition, special time with my husband or wife, etc. There are many choices of an ongoing nature which we will need to make as time moves forward. However, the fundamental underlying reality is this: If I do not have a continual personal relationship with God in which I daily walk in communication, how is it possible to do discernment and know God’s personal will in my life?

The servant of the Lord needs to try and keep watch over his actions, interior as well as exterior, always being careful and working toward and maintaining “purity of heart.” One should seek to maintain peace of mind and heart, in attempting to always know the gracious will of God, saying within oneself: “Oh Lord what do you will me to do now? Will it please you if I do this or that? For the Lord himself speaks through interior inspiration to a person’s heart, “saying do this or leave that undone. When one feels that the Lord wills or permits him to do anything, one should speak in this way, the Lord does this in me and through me. But if one perceives that this particular thing does not please the Lord, he should immediately deny himself or herself and should leave the thing undone, however small it may seem, see Blosius the Venerable, Magnificat, vol. 20, n. 3, May 2018, pp. 369-370.

The peace of living God’s will depends on our attitude. It is good if we have an open and peaceful attitude in seeking God’s will in our daily life. It is important to be willing to choose what God wants even if it is not what I want. A loving heart desires above all to please the Lord, and listen carefully to God’s guidance and direction. When we choose in faith what God wants, we may feel drawn to an option and we just know with a peaceful certitude this is what God wants. You will feel it when it happens! Some articles on discerning God’s will mention two states of the inner person: consolation and desolation. I actually think it is a little more involved than that.

Peace of living God’s will is sometimes hidden.

I find it useful to identify three states of the inner life or soul: revelation, consolation, and desolation.

Why is that? Because we are speaking about a beautiful dynamic relationship where the Lord and the person are working together to seek and discover the truth of God’s will in very practical circumstances.

  1. Revelation is knowing how to receive and understand all the tender and merciful ways in which God communicates with a person. This requires a personal knowledge and loving relationship with the Lord.
  2. The consolation is the second state. This would consist of an inner peace where the soul experiences the blessing of the Lord. You know it when you feel it!
  3. The third state is a desolation, which can be characterized by a certain sadness, a lack of the experience of heavenly love and grace, spiritual dryness. Sometimes a feeling of a spiritual emptiness and disturbance. It is good to peacefully be attentive as to what state of spiritual experience one is going through. Sometimes there can be a subtle shifting back and forth.

The important thing is to look for a consistency. If desolation seems to be around too long ask the Lord to remove what is causing this gentle sometimes painful darkness. Sometimes it is the Lord who is allowing it because he wants us to grow in trusting him in faith no matter what! The inner action of these three spiritual feeling states is a normal way the person relates to the inner mystery of grace and the action of the Lord and the Spirit in the inner person. For example, discerning the will of God in relationship to deciding to leave one job and take another.

Be patient and look for recurring patterns. Consolation and desolation are a normal part of the spiritual life, and in fact, they come and go interiorly all the time. Our decisions and choices are not just based on feelings but on revealed and reasonable truth communicated to us by the Lord. And seeking the good advice of others. The good Lord does speak to our interior being and to our mind. These states of our human beingness are very useful in discerning God’s practical will for our life. When God reveals his will we just know it. He built us as humans to be in a knowing relationship with him. If we need further confirmation about our decision about what job the Lord wants us to take, we may turn to a more analytical approach.

An analytical approach should be used when it is helpful, or when you are seeking confirmation of decisions you want to make because you believe this is what God’s will in now in this particular situation. I am leaving my superintendent position in Lake Andes, and I am going to accept the offer I have received for the same position in Plankinton. All my prayer, advice, and considerations have pointed significantly to make this change. I see it as God’s will for me and my family at this time in my life.

The pay is about the same, this, is where my family has lived for years, and I feel called to serve the folks in that surrounding community. And besides that, I will have more time to take care of the cattle that I have on my property. However, I want to be sure, and I don’t want to hurt the folks in Lake Andes, they have been good to me, and very supportive of my family. This decision is going to help me and my family give greater glory to God. Tonight my wife and I have set aside a couple of hours to do this discernment, and seek to give greater glory to God in our service here, but again I want to be sure this is what God’s will is for me and my family at this time.

Some say that when you are evaluating the strengths and weakness of a situation, and we are going to use the pros and cons analytical method, It is good to write the pros first and then the cons. However, when we are doing discernment, we are seeking first the glory of God and serving him faithfully, we may want to write the cons first and then the pros. The following is a suggested method which has worked for us in determining God’s will in other situations. We did this a number of years back when we moved from Chicago to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Boy! It worked for us like a charm; we had no doubt about our move here. Tonight we will get the kids settled and retire to the study, and each spends about 15 or 20 minutes thanking and praising the Lord for all the good he has brought into our lives.

With the Bible and notebook in hand, we will seek first the Word inviting the Lord to give us any Scriptures which may assist us in seeking his glory and his will. Then we will write down together the cons, and list everything, no matter how small they are when they come to us. And we will turn the paper over and list all the pros. In these situations sometimes the will of the Lord is confirmed quickly, and his glory becomes very evident.

Then we will have a peaceful and relatively short discussion about what the Lord showed to both of us. When we have done this in other instances his will becomes very clear in a short period of time. We pull together all the specific aspects which give us a clear unified vision for our family, and the specific choices we may need to make. If for some reason the certainty we are seeking does not materialize we will let the discernment sit for a day or so, and then come back and do it again. However, only in a few instances have we needed to do it a second time. In the end, we could confirm what we believed to be God’s glory and will for us in the next leg of the journey of being missionary disciples in God’s call and will for this season of our lives.

This method is a good one to use in periods of tranquility when our hearts are at peace and free from disturbing feelings or passions, which may influence our choices or decisions. The pros and cons should be spiritually based and not centered on personal preferences such as financial conditions or levels of comfort. After we make the list of items there are two ways to arrive at choices or decisions. In a spirit of prayer, we place before ourselves the options. We seek honestly and clearly what the Lord wants, without any attachments or hidden motives. We then humbly ask the Lord to move us toward the option(s) which will bring him the most glory. Then after considering each pro and con, we make our choice at the right time and then ask the Lord to confirm our choices with a gift of peace; assuring the Lord of our love for him and a deep desire to do his will.

Various Considerations:

When we have several goods and equally positive options, marriage or religious life God gives us the freedom to choose. For example, if we are discerning between these two equally good options, God will give us the freedom to choose which one is most in our heart. Whatever the choice and decision one makes, he will bless it with abundant grace and all that we need to gain our salvation. “But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal, for where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” “Not everyone who says Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”, see Mt. 6:20-21; 7: 21-22

As I said before consolations and desolations can be experienced for no apparent reason. When both are spiritually in consolation and desolation and you are looking to make a right choice, pray about your desired choice. Look for a pattern to see if it is consistent, then present your choice to God in prayer. Sometimes you may see clearly how God is giving you direction, and it may teach you more about engaging in consultation with the Lord.

God doesn’t get upset when we make mistakes, this is usually rather frequent. The point is to keep seeking God’s will. Most decisions are changeable or reversible. Much of our choices depends deeply on trusting in the Lord and his Providence, and his loving intervention in our life, which in our society today is very difficult for us. If you are having trouble discerning a direction, wait and continue to pray. The Lord will show you the way.

There are specific principles for discerning God’s will. The choice and action I am considering: Is this going to bring me closer to the Lord and advance God’s plan for my life, and for those for whom I may have significant responsibility. My vocational choices are important because it becomes the context for the practical decisions of practicing God’s will in my daily life. There are many goods, which of these are going to bring greater glory to God? The importance of prayer cannot be overemphasized. It surrenders our own will to the to the action of God’s loving will. It eliminates from our lives the things that would hinder union with God, and strengthen our desire that all the good things we do shall be done for his honor and glory.

Two important attitudes: What seems to be the best way of these possible goods for me to give greater glory to God? How am I going to serve God and constantly seek his glory in my life and his practical will in my life, or in the life and well-being of my family? The second one is to want to do what God’s wants in my life because I know and trust the Lord has the greatest good for me and my family in doing his will in the practical areas of our lives.

May we pray!

Since we desire to be in communion with you Father in your Son Jesus, we pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to operate in our personal lives and to be active in us as we make the choices and decision’s which are most pleasing to you. We deeply thank you for your love and care in our lives and relationships. We especially thank you for the spiritual gifts of wisdom, understanding, and discernment. And we pray for abundant peace in our minds and hearts as we move forward to serve and build the Kingdom of God in our world, but most especially in our personal situations. We ask you to be with us constantly in all our efforts to please you and to love our brothers and sisters. We pray this prayer in the name of our glorious risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Unseen

 

After finding his grandson Owen preparing to end his own life, Alexander takes him along on an errand. As the day unfolds, Owen learns new information about his grandfather’s past and unlocks the secret to facing his own future.

Click Here to Download the Film for Free and get Resources for Your Family


Is Self Blame Harmful

Self Blame | Self blame is harmful and may be damaging for the soul. #christianpodcast #podcast #self-blameBlame Harmful for Our Soul Episode 60

Is blame harmful to our soul? I believe it is; recently reconnected with a friend who has basically had her life fall apart due to things beyond her control. However, she is stuck in the pattern of blaming herself. She has fallen into depression and has a host of medical issues, and now her faith is hanging in jeopardy.

We are promoting the film during suicide prevention week – the movie Unseen. It is free with information to help.

Blame Harmful For Our Soul

We all have stories – things happen in our life that are beyond our control or if they are within our control we cannot deal with or cope in a way to figure out a solution that is workable. We are all sinners but by the grace of God we can continue onward – and the point of this podcast is the fact that self-blame is actually studied in modern day psychology.

Wikipedia has a definition of self-blame that I will read, and you can find more on their website.

So – if psychology has identified it is really a behavior that has important ramifications!

People turn to faith and the blame – and that often is on the enemy –

Is the devil to blame for our sin and suffering?

We have an example of Adam and Eve in the garden Genesis 3 – The Fall

So Adam blamed the woman and Eve blamed the serpent – but no one admitted to their own guilt. People often blame the devil in order to remove their own crushing guilt, justify their actions, or responsibility. What we forget it that we can learn so much through our suffering —  and the things God wants to teach us.

Listen – satan is a liar and a deceiver — Satan instigated the temptation, but Eve responded with negative volition, unbelief, and disobedience, and Adam failed to stay true to his responsibility as the leader in his family.

But this brings me back to the issue of blame – can we truly blame ourselves for not stepping in to change events or facts – to make things right or better? Sure – and it is natural to put blame on ourselves and take responsibility for it – but it is often time to move on! Regardless of the source of a temptation ,it is up to our own free will to make a decision that is right or wrong. The Lord allows it.

However – God gave us the tools to defeat the enemy – the subject of my next podcast!

Yes – the enemy causes havoc in or world but St. Paul gives warns us – the battle is not with flesh and blood

Ephesians 6: 12: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Evil is a direct result of our fallen world and the enemy – we know the source of all evil – however so much of our suffering is due to our own self-induced blame.

Friends – we must break the cyle of self blame!

  1. Identify the source. Yes, it may be yourself.
  2. Blame is not healthy and can lead to so many problems – emotionally and medically
  3. Identify the issue and move on. We need to memorize the Bible as a help – when the thoughts of blame surface in our minds we must “resist the devil and he will flee from us”… how? By putting on the armor of God. God’s word can combat any evil – even that of self blame.

But be aware.

  1. Not every evil is a direct result of the enemy.
  2. Not all suffering is a product of our own sin – think Job here.
  3. We cannot carry the burden alone.
  4. Examine your conscience – go to your pastor, if you are Catholic go to a good priest – is there a spiritual lesson you are missing?

I’m not one to typically freak out by something I read online but this came across my search and if you want to see lies – listen to this lie about how wonderful the devil is.

No! I rebuke that! God is victorious – Christianity is the answer against anguish and sin. You must realize that if you can not overcome the cycle of self-blame you may need help.

How much power do we really think we have? God is God and victorious in all things.

Blame is a tool to keep us down and we can be victorious through Jesus Christ – and how do we know this? Because Jesus Christ was born, lived, died, was buried and ROSE on the 3rd day – He opened the gates of heaven for you and for me, and we can be victorious by living a life praising God!

Dear Lord Jesus, I pray for those who are hurting today – for those who do not have hope – for those who feel like the awful things that happen in their lives are their fault – they have incredible self-blame, Lord and can’t see a way past this. Dear Lord I ask that you help them to overcome the blame to look at You and Only You for the help they need to let go of this – to confess this blame and place it at the foot of Your precious cross – you died for us Lord but best of all You rose from the dead so we could have a NEW life with you in eternity – I pray a a healing on those who have been hurt by the sins of others especially those close to them in life. Those they should have trusted but who betrayed them. I pray for a healing and for closure and for the blame to go away in Your Precious Name, Jesus. Amen.

 


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Unseen

 

After finding his grandson Owen preparing to end his own life, Alexander takes him along on an errand. As the day unfolds, Owen learns new information about his grandfather’s past and unlocks the secret to facing his own future.

Click Here to Download the Film for Free and get Resources for Your Family


 

Joy In Living God’s Will

Joy In Living God's Will | The joy in living God's will can be found with these steps. #christian #christianpodcast #podcast #catholicJoy in Living In God’s Will Episode 19

The joy in living God’s will is right before us and we often miss it in our daily lives. Before we look at the practical tools of discerning God’s will in a given situation, I think it can be useful to develop an awareness or atmosphere of worldliness in contemporary society.

Visit the movie we are helping to promote, Unseen Film – it deals with the very real problem of suicide in our culture. The movie is free to watch and download on your computer.

A list of worldly practices or issues which project a negative spirit of worldliness. Within the context of our affluent society, some of us may carry a deep-seated attitude of entitlement. It could go something like this: When I want something I need to get it! I deserve it, and I want it Now! And I should be able to do whatever it takes to get it. After all,  we live in a land of freedom and I should be able to get what I want when I want it, even if some people are inconvenienced a little by my action. Why should I sacrifice and serve others? After all, it takes everything I have,  and I am too busy to spend time worrying about other people’s situations. Some of my friends think I am narcissistic because I always look to my needs first.

The Joy in Living God’s Will escapes so many! Here are some real examples:

We live in an anxious worrisome stress filled society, and some of us are so busy because we have so many things and projects to accomplish. Down deep inside I feel that unless I do all these things I won’t feel happy. A teacher who cares for me asked me the other day why my sense of self-worth is so low! When I get down I just go to the store and buy something. My husband makes plenty of money, and I just feel so compelled to buy so many things. I love nice things and my family always encouraged me to frequently spend and buy many things. My husband kids me about being so compulsively materialistic.

The other day uncle John and aunt Maureen showed up from the coast. What a huge expensive camper they have; they just spend months traveling all over the place. We were having a beer last night and John told me that his pastor was disappointed when he refused to undertake some church responsibilities for mercy work. He said I told him,“I can’t take on those services and still enjoy my recreational pursuits.

Thanks for picking me up Pete. Boy, I need a good workout! Harriet blew up at me last night. She said that she was fed up with my incessant worrisome attention about little details about my life. She said I am so perfectionistic about little details in my life, that I never spend quality time with the two boys, which, in her mind is much more important than the little things I get involved in. Boy, my friends at the club are reality irritated at the pastor. He gave a homily where he mentioned that this country is so addicted to sports that it has reached the point where it has become a false god, or at least obsessive idol worship.

My kids feel that they need to participate in all the sports at school. Do you realize how hectic that is for our family? When I try to limit it, they cry and complain that other kids parents let them do this, and they fear they will be rejected and pushed out of the circle of popularity. Sports is a good thing and has many positive features in its activities. However, it seems that in this country it has become an inordinate preoccupation. All year long some go from one sport to another. It becomes the main manner of socializing, and for some, it has become a necessary escape from the pain of modern life, and the distressing conflicts in contemporary society. It can lead to a significant disorder in the relationships and the well-being of family life. It seems for some it has reached the level of an idol or false god. For some, it has replaced the priority of worship of God on the Lord’s Day, and the good of rest and being with those we love the most.

The joy in living God’s will can be found with several keys:

Here is a key way of determining where I find the temptations to give in to the negative spirit of the world in my daily life: Where are my excessive and inordinate attachments in my life? Is it food, sex, physical exercise, excessive need for comfort and protection, compulsive need to be loved and accepted by others, hidden seeking of approval from others, inordinate fear of rejection, power and control over others, inordinate personal relationships, excessive use of I phones, androids, iPads and other technologies,  workaholism, inordinate need to accomplish, acquiring excessive possessions, living a life of  false pretensions and undealt with addictions, erroneous religious practice and attachment to rigid religious structure without highlighting a personal love and knowledge of God,  etc.

All of these things can contribute to or be containers of a spirit of worldliness. And these challenges directly pertains to knowing and following God’s will in my daily life.  Returning to the preparation Jesus gave to his disciples at the Last Supper. Just as Jesus prepared and pre-planned for his disciples by way of sending them the Holy Spirit, who will teach them all truth and give to them the strength to be the chosen, called, committed, and faithful against the spirit of the world.

And to ensure the disciples that they will have all that is needed to fulfill their mission as they establish the Kingdom of God on earth. They will be empowered with the Spirit and given the wisdom, gifts, and skills the active dynamic presence of Jesus in the world. No small task!

The preplanning of Jesus includes us. We are humbled and privileged to participate in the same empowerment and gifts which sustained the Apostles. Therefore, we are called daily to do the will of God as active agents in renewing the life of the Gospel in the Church, in our families, and in all the situations of our human life, all the decisions, choices, and behaviors.

The joy in living God’s will is shown at the wedding feast of Cana.

It is one thing to hear this taught or preached, but it is another thing to learn how to do it! What is the next step in this process to make doing the will of God a practical thing in our life? It seems we should cut to the chase in this matter. Early in the ministry of Jesus Mary tells the servants to do what Jesus tells them. They did and the water was changed into wine at the wedding feast of Cana.

Therefore, this gives us the basic principle of action, do what Jesus tells us! How do I know what he is telling me? There are some things about doing the will of God which are not hard to understand. But how do I know it is the will of God?  What is it like to listen to the Lord and discern what to do? It seems to me it is easy to make mistakes in this attempt, that possibility makes me nervous. How do I know it is the Lord who is speaking to me? I have always tended to rely on myself in making decisions rather than on God. I was brought up that way. Sometimes I know what God wants, but when and how should I put it into action? There are many questions for sure, let’s get started to try and get as much clarity in this matter as possible.

As we begin the practical considerations of doing God’s will, it is good to remember that the principle of grace always invites us to make good changes in our life. It is a known principle in the life of grace that God gives sufficient grace for whatever he asks us to do.  In view of the original sin of humankind, both personal and social, we tend to our sin and weakness and discover that to do the good is always a struggle. This encounter with the world, the flesh, and the devil the early Church Fathers called spiritual warfare. The psalmist reminds us that our call is to surrender to God and he will do everything for us.

May we turn from evil, learn to do God’s will; the Lord will strengthen us if we obey him. “ If you trust in the Lord and do good, then you will live in the land and be secure. If you find your delight in the Lord he will grant your heart’s desire…commit your life to the Lord, trust in him and he will act so that your justice breaks forth like the light, your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait in patience…Then turn away from evil and do good and you shall have a home forever; for the Lord loves justice and will never forsake his friends”, see Psalm 37: 3-7a.

The areas in our life where it is relatively easy to know God’s will: All Christians know where to go and what to do to find and know what is God’s will and where it is revealed for them. Every Christian needs to be born again from above by water and the Holy Spirit. This experience initiates us into what we know to be life and union with God unto salvation. God reveals himself in a special way through the Old Testament Covenant to the Israelite People. God revealed the natural law as the way he wanted humankind to live. The Old Testament Covenant given to a special people is called the Ten Commandments. Jesus makes it very clear that he did not come to set aside the Old Testament Covenant, but he came to bring it to fulfillment in the New Testament Covenant in his very person through faith in him. The New Testament reveals what Jesus taught and did in his ministry, And his wonderful life culminated in the Paschal Mystery; his Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension, and confirmed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Here in lies the vast majority of God’s will for all the Christian People. In our present day and age, it is manifested in various churches and communities. If you really want to know God’s will for your life pray and read the Word of God,  both the Old and New Testament. And become very familiar with the authentic teaching of the Christian community within which you were baptized and have made the necessary commitments. Given this reality which is a good thing! It does not completely answer the day by day practical discernment in one’s daily life.

Need patience and good discernment to do God’s will:   “Be patient, therefore brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient, make your hearts firm…”, see Ja. 5: 7-9. God wants happiness for all. Yet there is the uncertainty of life, its complete dependence on God, and the necessity of submitting to God’s will to help us know and do God’s will and what is right, you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow. In terms of what we are going to do, “If the Lord wills we shall do this or that,” this is the condition we should employ to qualify all our plans.

It is part of the personal vision of our life, which we should consider before making choices and decisions for all our plans. In many ways, it is not that difficult to know God’s will in a given set of circumstances. The important thing is to be prayerfully seeking it. The grace of discernment each Christian receives in baptism and in the actual graces that one has because of their personal relationship with the Lord. These gifts are tremendously helpful in knowing practically what God’s will is in a given situation. The charism of the discernment of spirits aids us in knowing if a desire for a particular action is coming from a selfish part of me, or is a deception or temptation from the evil one, or is coming from an inspiration from God, specifically the Holy Spirit.

“Beloved, do not trust every spirit but put the spirits to a test to see if they belong to God because many false prophets have appeared in the world. This is how you can recognize God’s Spirit: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God, while every spirit that fails to acknowledge him does not belong to God. Such is the spirit of the antichrist which, as you have heard, is to come; in fact, it is in the world already”, see 1 Jn. 4:1-3.

Now here is the “kicker” and presents quite a challenge for one from time to time. Let me give an example here: In the last five years, I have moved every four or five months to a year to different locations eight times. In every one of those situations, by praying and discerning the circumstances I pretty easily received a sense of what the Lord’s will was. However, there are three aspects necessary to know and carry out the will of the Lord in practical ways. The first is to have a moral certitude, a relative certitude or knowledge of what the Lord wants. The second is to know when to put something into action, and the third is how to go about doing it.

For the most part, after embracing the physical and emotional challenge, being in my later years of life, I knew pretty much what the Lord wanted. Because I tend to look to the future a great deal, I would naturally expect a flexible time frame in regard to action. I would usually get a sense that it was time for a partial action. I thought I would hear, or get a sense that the Lord wanted me to pack, it is time to pack! Yes. In over half of the cases I would spend the next two or three months taking items out of storage containers that I needed to use. I really made mistakes in knowing when to move to action. The how is usually a little easier to handle because things in that realm tend to eventually come together. I would say my track record in doing all three aspects of doing the Lord’s will consistently and accurately is not perfect.

Its okay to make mistakes, it doesn’t make the Lord unhappy, but it is personally humiliating, significantly inconvenient, and sometimes costly. The more we practice discernment in knowing and doing God’s will, the better we get at it. The main problem seems to be to learn how to listen to the Lord’s various means of communicating to us.

And by all means, it is important to consult other qualified people about the matter, especially those who are qualified to give good advice and spiritual discernment, at least in important decisions. Also, we need to learn how to let the Lord lead, and then as a humble disciple to follow behind. The Lord will lead and show us what to do if we are patient and give him a chance. “In waiting and in calm is your salvation, in quiet and trust your strength lies.”, see Isaiah 30: 15. A really important thing to keep in mind is that the circumstances of one’s life are a significant way the Lord communicates his will. When we seek and ask him He will give us guidance and direction in regard to the practical doing of God’s will in the practical arena of our reality.

It really is a matter of listening, discerning, and obediently acting in trust and faith. May we return to the wedding feast of Cana. “They have no wine!” This statement was really hard for Mary, the Mother of Jesus. On one hand, she was full of compassionate love for the young married couple who were running out of wine. A huge embarrassment!  On another level, she knew in her heart discernment that it was time for Jesus to begin his short ministry. It met for her stepping on to the road which would lead to his death. Jesus may have thought to himself, I never do anything unless the Father is working. Jesus says, “woman what is this to you and to me? My hour (his journey to his death and resurrection) has not yet come? Maybe in her heart, she said to the Father, “Oh no Father, please, not now!” Yes, Mary Now! Discerning and knowing what the Father wanted:  Mary told the servants, do whatever he tells you! Jesus knew then, this is the will of my Father, and he told the servants to fill up the water jars with water, go and give them to the chief steward. And the water became wine initiating the will of the Father, the beginning of the final years of Jesus historical life on earth.

And the chief steward said this is amazing most guests give the best wine to their guests first, and after the cheaper wine later. But you have saved the best wine until now! God’s will always does it better than our mere human initiative. In this incident, Jesus knew the will of the Father. In Mary’s question, he discerned the time, now! And he knew it and he did it. It is time for me to begin my hour, the short journey on the road to Calvary, and the accomplishment of salvation for humankind! Knowledge, discernment, and action because of the will of the Father, see Jn. 2:1-11. I would very much like to point out that this discernment process was right in the middle of a marriage situation. It wasn’t in a church basement preparing for a catechetical program. Although that also would be a wonderful time to use a practical discernment process.

Discernment is always easier if we have experienced some degree of spiritual renewal and empowerment by the Spirit. In addition to the overall context mentioned above, discernment of God’s will for my life becomes real when it happens within the context of my vocational life. What is the vocation I choose that specifies the journey of my life unto salvation? In this context the discernment of God’s will in my choices and decisions becomes a frequent occurrence; it is helpful if I grow in mature self-knowledge, and learn the method. If I am living a life of prayer, and always strive to hear the voice of the Lord. I will naturally and supernaturally grow mature in knowing, hearing, discerning, and doing the will of God in my life.

May We Pray!

Father, we thank you for the beautiful gift of your merciful love. It is important to us that we know you will, hear your voice, and do what you ask. You have called us at this time in the Church and world to be the disciples and servants of your Son Jesus. Just as you equipped you Son, Jesus with everything that he needed to do your will. We humbly ask you, your weak and humble servants, to live out your will in our life and in the life of my family. Banish fear, laziness, and pride from our lives. And grant to us the gifts which will bring love, joy, and truth to our brothers and sisters. We confidently beseech you these requests in and through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Unseen

 

After finding his grandson Owen preparing to end his own life, Alexander takes him along on an errand. As the day unfolds, Owen learns new information about his grandfather’s past and unlocks the secret to facing his own future.

Click Here to Download the Film for Free and get Resources for Your Family