Posted in January 2019, podcast

Twenty-fineteen: Everything’s Going to be Fine

Listen to the full episode here!

As we say goodbye to 2018, Matt and I reflect on some of what we learned over the Christmas holiday.

I learned that I’m a judgey, selfish, child who needs to learn to be thankful I get to sit at the feet of a Savior who loves me despite myself. (Yay for self-reflection.)

Matt is reminded of the incredible sacrifice that Jesus made simply by setting aside His Godhood to become a man in order to be with His people.

Clearly, we had different things going on.

After that conversation, we move into looking ahead to the new year and ways we hope to grow spiritually as we continue to seek after God.

Listen to the full episode here!

Special Announcement:
We will be taking the month of January off. Previously published episodes will be re-released during this time.

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Posted in December 2018, podcast

The Greatest Christmas Story Ever Told

Join us one more time by the fire as Matt reads the greatest Christmas story ever told!

This time, it comes straight from the Big Book, the Bible, Luke 2:1-19. Grab a warm drink, a cozy blankie and your loved ones and gather round to hear about the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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Special thanks to James Swanson for permission to use the KJV 401 Reader’s Edition. You can download your own through Amazon.

Special thanks also for the use of “Silent Night (Holy Night)” as our outro music: by Alexander Nakarada
https://www.serpentsoundstudios.com
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com
Attribution 4.0 International (cc BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

Posted in December 2018, podcast

A Visit from St. Nicholas

This Christmas Eve, let’s tuck into a little classic and my own personal favorite, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” otherwise known as “T’was the Night Before Christmas.”

Grab a warm drink, a cozy blanket and someone you love and settle in for this little classic.

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Posted in December 2018, podcast

“Little Piccola” A Christmas Story

In and amongst all the hoopla for the holidays, we sometimes forget to simply be thankful for the small things.

This week Brandy reads “Little Piccola,” a short story about a little girl who’s been impoverished her whole life, until one Christmas morning when she wakes up to find the greatest gift she could have ever hoped for!

Listen to the “Little Piccola” here

One week til Christmas, you guys! What better time than the present to say thank you to our Father in Heaven for His endless gifts that He has lavishly showered upon us!

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.