Posted in December 2018, podcast

“The Gift of the Magi” Christmas Story

In our second Christmas story for 2018, Matt reads O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.”

It’s a simple little tale of a young couple struggling to make ends meet, but who are determined to give the other a nice gift for Christmas. Each of their gifts comes at a great sacrifice, which often, the best gifts do.

This story was written in 1905 so the language is a bit “old-timey” but it’s a Christmas classic that all should hear.

Listen to the story here!

Posted in December 2018, Podcast Show Notes

Christmas Story: “Papa Panov” by Leo Tolstoy

This holiday season we’re going to do things a little bit differently than we normally do. Each week this month we’re going to settle into your earbuds and read you a Christmas story. It sounds a little awkward, but I think it’ll be fun!

To kick it off, we’re starting with a little ditty by Leo Tolstoy called “Papa Panov.” It’s a short tale of a shoemaker who learns a valuable lesson about what it means to see Jesus.

Turn on your Christmas lights, grab a warm drink and a cozy blanket and sit down for a little Christmas story.

Listen to the story here!

For a link to the story that you can print, as well as other Christmas resources, please visit Family Christmas Online

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Posted in November 2018, Podcast Show Notes

Show Notes: “Consumer Blues Kill Holiday Cheer”

It’s that time of year again, boys and girls! The time when we pull out our credit cards and buy happiness. The more you spend the happier you are! Right?
If that doesn’t ring true to you, you’ve come to the right place! This week we are talking about how consumerism has got us down this holiday season.

Listen to the full episode here!

Ideas to make holiday cheer when your pockets are (mostly) empty:

  1. Remember the abundance you already have. Listen, this one is probably the hardest on the list because it’s so easy to start feeling like everyone else has so much more than you do. The fact is, chances are super good that if you can listen to this podcast or see this blog post, you probably have your basic needs being met. True, you may not have anything grand, but you have more than any number of other people. Again…this isn’t easy, but remember what you deserve: that’s right, death. So, yay! You’re alive and that’s pretty darn awesome!
  2. Look at Christmas through the eyes of a child. Remember when you were little and a week before Christmas break you’d look out the window while sitting in 6th period Science to see snow falling? You know that feeling you got? The anticipation and excitement of forts and snowmen to build, snowballs to throw and hot chocolate to drink all played havoc on any kid actually getting anything done in school. Let that kind of awe and wonder drive you this holiday season. If you can’t find it on your own, spend time with a little kid. Look at Christmas lights. Visit Santa.
  3. Focus on sharing moments with people rather than gifts. Take a walk in the snow. Fix up mugs of hot cocoa with marshmallows and candy canes then pile your family into the car, turn on the Christmas music and drive around to look at lights. Bake something new. Make homemade gifts…using only what you have on hand. Read Christmas stories. Watch all the Christmas movies. Take advantage of your local library. But be sure to do it all with people you love. Create memories that maybe don’t need to be shared on Instagram.
  4. Find a way to serve or give to others less fortunate than you. Let’s face it, there’s a super great chance that there are people in this world that would give anything to have as much as we have. Let’s spend some time brainstorming with our loved ones to find a way to give to someone who otherwise might get nothing. Giving truly is better than receiving.
  5. Never forget Christ in Christmas. The gift of a savior who was perfect in every way, but would lay down His life to be a sacrifice and then raise from the dead so that we could have an everlasting and intimate relationship with the God of the universe is the BEST possible gift we could ever receive.

There are any number of other ways you may find to keep your heart and head focused, not on what you lack, but on all that you have this holiday season. Please go to our Facebook group and share your ideas with others so we may all be encouraged!

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And in the meantime, Happy Holidays, guys! Let’s get this season rolling!

Posted in November 2018, Podcast Show Notes

Show Notes: “Holiday Survival Guide”

Let’s face it: as much as people love watching holiday Hallmark movies, they leave us longing for more in our own lives. More family. More laughter. More kisses under the mistletoe and more snow on the ground.

The Holiday Survival Guide

Meanwhile, our reality often looks quite a bit duller when compared to this idealized version we see on our screens. In real life, we have dirty dishes stacked up high, kids screaming in the background, someone passed out on the couch due to overindulgence of one sort or another. All we really want to do is lock ourselves in the bathroom and have a good cry.

Because the holidays are hard. Sometimes, they’re really hard.

Whatever we hope for during this season seldom comes to fruition. Instead, we end up stressed out and feeling empty and dissatisfied, or worse, completely hopeless.

Join us this week as Matt and I share some of our thoughts for self-care during the holidays that might bring you a new sense of peace and joy.

Listen to the full episode here

In this episode, we talk about being mindful of what we deserve vs. what we’ve been given, taking our desires and cares to God, and practical ideas for relieving stressful or awkward situations. We also talk about practicing kindness towards others as well as ourselves.

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Posted in November 2018, Podcast Show Notes

Show Notes: “Jesus, Politics and A Christian Response”

The election is over. Our witness is not.

Tune in this week to hear us talk about how we, as Christ followers, can navigate this political environment we live in.

Jesus didn’t spend His time fighting the government systems that were in play while He walked this earth, so why do we feel so compelled to? Is that the best way to carry out the Great Commission? What if we’re going about this all wrong?

The election may be over, but no matter how you voted I think we can all agree that the hostility that is brewing on both sides of the political fence is going to continue to affect us all. It’s vital that we consider wisely how we carry ourselves through this time.

Your message is showing. Make sure Jesus is in it.

Posted in November 2018, Podcast Show Notes

Show Notes: A Legacy of Faith; An Interview with Teresa Page-Ayala

“What is a legacy?
It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”
-Hamilton: An American Musical

This week, I’m joined by a very special guest in the studio: my mom.

Listen to the full episode here!

We had her visit planned for a few weeks. It was set for right between her birthday and mine. Immediately, I knew the first thing I wanted to do when she got here. Something I’d been wanting to do for years with her, it just never seemed to work out.

Go to Hobby Lobby.

Okay, that was first on my list of Things To Do With Mom, but a close second was to get her into the studio to record an interview with her.

So that’s what we did.

Join us as we talk about mothers and daughters, the generational differences between her, myself and my daughter and then the legacy of faith she gave to our family.

She walks us through the night she met Jesus and how that encounter changed everything. A short time later, my brother and I followed suit and within two years, our whole family was going to church together.

If you’re going to leave something behind for your children, make sure it’s more precious than silver or gold.

Leave a legacy of faith.

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Intro and Outro Music: “The Long Road Home” Written by Brandy J. Goebel, Arrangement by James Swanson, Performed by James Page. Copyright 2018.

Posted in October 2018, Podcast Show Notes

Unshakable Hope: A Review of Max Lucado’s Book

Halloween is soon upon us so what better time to talk about Hope?

Listen to the full episode here!

This week Matt and I sit down for a discussion of Max Lucado’s book, Unshakable Hope: Building Our Lives on the Promises of God.

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Together we talk about what we liked and what we felt was lacking in this book.

I also share my thoughts on chapter 11 “Grace for the Humble” and my own challenges with humility. We also examine briefly the silent killer that pride can be in any given relationship.

Matt shares his thoughts on chapter 11 “Joy is Coming Soon” as well as how he struggles in waiting on God and trusting that joy will come in the morning.

We also talk about what hope is and the difference between the biblical definition of hope versus the worlds.

Listen to the episode here

Join us as we have a great conversation about what it means to live in the hope of Christ.

 

Posted in October 2018, Podcast Show Notes, Uncategorized

Lessons from the Road to Waimea Canyon: God is Awesome!

Alo-ha!

We’ve been home from Hawaii for a week now and boy, has it been hard getting back into the swing of things!

I, personally, could really get used to island time. Everything is a little slower and richer, somehow. There’s time to savor the moment and really take in the beauty that surrounds you.

That being said, we were so blessed and awed by our time in Kauai, that we want to share a little bit of it with you. Now, I know it’s not as good as actually flying you all there, but we did our best by stocking ourselves up with fresh pineapple and a yummy drink as we recorded this week’s episode. We encourage you to do the same while you listen as we share some of the things we learned while on the Garden Island.

Listen to the full episode here

First, I share the beautiful lesson we learned on what “aloha” means. As we were driving up to Waimea Canyon we stopped at a viewing area where there was a native man sharing some of the history and legend of Hawaii. It was the beginning of a profound lesson.

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Meanwhile, Matt shares how God shows up in unexpected ways and blesses us in ways we can’t even imagine. Sometimes, that blessing comes in the form of a trip of a lifetime. But always, God is blessing us.

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Poipu Beach – Kauai, Hawai’i

I’m sure I’ll post other pictures either here or on our social media accounts. It’s truly a beautiful place and if you ever have the opportunity to go to Kauai, by all means…GO!

Listen to the full episode here!

Live aloha, my friends!

Posted in October 2018, Podcast Show Notes, Uncategorized

Amazing Grace: One Woman’s Story of Redemption, Identity and Showing Up

After a week off for a vacation, we are pleased to introduce you to our friend, Trinity Pratt, who was a co-speaker at a recent women’s retreat with Brandy.

Trinity has an amazing story of God’s grace and redemptive work. After years of physical and sexual abuse, neglect and the trauma that resulted, including a trip to the “looney bin,” Trinity shares how she came to meet Jesus and how He has relentlessly pursued her throughout her life.

This was recorded live at the women’s retreat in September 2018 in Silver Falls, Oregon.

Listen in as Trinity shares her incredible journey with God and encourages us to combat the enemy’s lies with God’s unshakable truths. She will inspire you to “just show up” and let God use you right where you are.

Content warning: There is talk of sexual abuse, physical abuse, addiction, child neglect, and suicide. While it is non-graphic, it may be disturbing for some listeners.

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Check out this episode!

Posted in October 2018, Podcast Show Notes

Show Notes: “Recovery and Restoration – an Interview with Dr. Kathy Rodriguez”

Recovery and restoration aren’t just for addicts and those who live with them. As it happens, we all live in a broken world where we rub elbows with broken people every day, which means we all have some hurts that need healing.

Join Brandy this week as she interviews her recovery mentor, Dr. Kathy Rodriguez, retired psychologist and author who continues to lead women into health and recovery.

Listen to the full episode here

Our conversation begins with a look at The Genesis Process.

Michael Dye, founder of The Genesis Process says
in the introduction of Book 1:
“The Genesis Process is an attempt to provide the necessary understanding,
as well as the practical tools, for real and permanent change.
It is a blend of biblical principles,
understanding of the brain, and proven recovery strategies
for not only freedom from self-destructive behaviors,
but also addressing the underlying issues that drive them.”

Discover our own thoughts and experiences with Genesis as a means of discipleship and spiritual growth, a process that never ends as God continues to reveal His ability to sanctify and renew us.

As a woman who married outside her race, then adopted African American children, Kathy also shares some of the issues that she and her husband have faced over the years.

This leads us right back to the goal of restoration and recovery, as we as individuals in a divided society work towards finding a way forward.

Listen to the full episode here

Kathy and I found several more subjects we’d like to delve into in the future and I look forward to sitting down with her again and hearing from her wise and compassionate heart.

Kathy’s Books:

Healing the Father Wound

Surviving the Secret

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Kathy and I post-interview…there’s still so much to talk about!

 

Other Things Mentioned:

Book Review will be happening on October 30th. If you’d lie to join us, you can find a copy of Max Lucado’s book, Unshakable Hope: Building Our Lives on the Promises of God.

To learn more about the Schoolhouse Rocked project, please click here and show your support: Schoolhouse Rocked Kickstarter

Reminder: Transcripts will be posted on the website when available.

Connect with Us:

Our website has additional articles and resources. Be sure to check it out.

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We’d love to hear your suggestions for show topics or guests, or if you would like to be a guest. We also find it an honor to come alongside you in prayer, so please share your prayer needs with us and let us share your burden.

Love God. Love people. Pray hard.