Hi there! While I'm the one who will do most of the writing, I want to introduce you to both Matt and I.
We have been married for 22 years and have two children, Evan who just turned 18 and Molly, 15. We also have a little dog named Bella and a cat named Steve.
Matt works full time as an x-ray technician for a cast parts company. In his free time he likes to play Frisbee golf, read and watch movies. He also is the lighting designer for our daughter's annual Spring dance recital. He has a Masters in Education and for a time taught both history and theater.
I, Brandy, am a stay at home mom, which sounds kind of weird when your kids are this age, but it seems even more critical now than it was when they were younger. I also like to create stuff - anything from bound books to watercolors. I'm also an avid podcast listener. I spend a god deal of time driving Molly to and from dance and hanging out in the studio.
As for the kids, Evan is a computer guy and the one we turn to for tech support, while Molly spends her time doing online school and dance.
This blog is the result of our desire to start a podcast, talking about the challenges we face as believers as we try to navigate through this world and the culture that influences us. We also recognize that this is not quite where we belong - we have an eternal home with Christ that we long for as we travel on this journey.
We hope to encourage you as, together, we grow into the image of God. We look forward to discussing a variety of topics with each other and possibly some guests. This blog will serve as a platform for further exploration of the topics we cover on the show.
We look forward to hearing from you!
The life of a minister is hard. It’s a whole lot of work, most of which is on-call, and not a lot of personal glory. It’s often a thankless career but a fulfilling calling. But what about the life of a minister’s wife?
We get a look behind the curtain this week as Brandy sits down with Dottie Thorson, retired school teacher, and Pastor’s wife. Dottie shares the journey she and her husband took as they worked together to build a life of service, dedicated to sharing God’s love and grace with everyone along the way.
We raise statues, monuments, and headstones to commemorate those we’ve lost and victories won. But what about the memorials and monuments to remember what God has done?
Join Matt and Brandy as they look at some of the Old Testament monuments that the Israelites erected. They’ll also explore different monuments we have and can find in our own lives in order to be reminded of God’s faithfulness.
Those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. He said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall inform your children saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ “For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which he dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.
Well, it’s time to admit it: we’re officially middle-aged. And with middle age, there are some weird transitions that take place.
Join Matt and Brandy as they sit down and talk about their own experiences with a mid-life “crisis” and what the experts have to say about navigating your way through this oddly reflective and exciting time of life.
Last October, in 2018, we had the joy of traveling to Kauai, Hawaii. Kauai is called The Garden Isle and for good reason. There isn’t a vista that isn’t covered in lush trees, tropical plants, and blossoming botanicals. Everywhere you turn, you are met with an incredible slice of creation.
We didn’t come by this trip by the usual means. We hadn’t been planning it for years, pinching our pennies and squirreling away vacation time. Rather, Matt’s parents took us as their guests with airline miles they’d acquired. We shared a 1-bedroom condo with a fold-out couch and called ourselves blessed.
When we came home, after the sunburns had begun to heal but the glow of the Hawaiian sun was still lingering, we sat down in the recording studio with a bowl of fresh pineapple and a couple of mimosas and talked about our time in the Aloha State.
So many girls dream of the day they will one day become a mother. They envision their little dolls come to life. Cooing, crying, snuggled in tight. Finally, when the time comes and they’re ready to make this dream into a reality, it doesn’t always end up quite the way they’d planned.
The road to motherhood can be a difficult one at best, riddled with infertility, loss, confusion, isolation, and depression.
This week we present a 2-part conversation with Lisa Page and her own harrowing journey.
Years of miscarriages and stillbirths, hope-filled expectations and shattered dreams, Lisa has felt every high and every low a woman can feel as she longed to finally bring a living baby home from the hospital.
Tune in to hear how God used this suffering to draw Lisa into a deeper, more grace-filled relationship with Him. Hear how she learned to cope with the well-intentioned and often painful words of condolence that she received.
Mostly, find hope as you listen to one woman’s journey as she learned that all the plans we make take a back seat to the sovereignty and goodness of God.
Join Matt and Brandy as they discuss this very topic as they celebrate the show’s one year anniversary. Tune in to hear about the journey of discovering God’s will and what that means for the future of this show.
What is my purpose here? What happens when I die? If there is a God, why is there still suffering in the world? How do I know if I’m on the right path in life?
These questions and so many more plague our minds and often leave us feeling restless, dissatisfied and often more confused in the end. But still, we ask them, constantly searching for meaning and wisdom and understanding.
Even as Christians who already believe that God is real, we still find ourselves wrestling with many of the same issues.
Matt and I are currently involved in a program called Alpha. It’s a multi-week video program that you watch with a group of people who don’t identify as Christian but are searching for understanding and clarity to some of these larger questions. We have the opportunity to serve as hosts for a new group that recently started and the question at the top of this post is the very question we talked over this last week.
It was interesting to listen to the questions that people have on their hearts. They’re fairly universal, in fact.
In this week’s episode, Matt and I share the questions we’d ask God if given the chance.
SEEING GOOD AND EVIL
The question Matt poses is this: why didn’t God create in us the ability to better see the spiritual evil that is all around us?
Imagine having the superpower called something like…. Dark Vision. I don’t know, maybe that’s already a superpower, but work with me. Dark Vision is the ability to see the evil forces that are constantly at work on this planet.
Not sure if this is the right job for you take? No worries, with the power of Dark Vision you can see clearly that the CEO and President of the company are cutting corners by employing children in economically depressed countries for pennies a day. Determination: Evil. This would be a bad company to align with.
Dark Vision gives you the ability to easily detect what is opposed to God so you can make choices that better align with your beliefs and values. It also helps you to recognize ways to pray for those around you who are struggling in their own ways.
Meanwhile, Brandy pauses to reflect on the same question that David posed to God, “Who am I that you are mindful of me?”
The fact is if God is real (and we’re working on the belief that He is), then it stands to reason that He made each of us with the same care and detail that He made the rest of the natural world. That means, that he carefully crafted each one of us with special talents and abilities, certain physical limitations, brain capacity, and emotional intelligence. That means we were born into the time and place that He chose for us. He knows the intricate details of our bodies, souls, and minds because he intricately wove us together.
And if all of THAT is true, that must mean He loves us, right?
But, who am I?
Who am I that the God of the universe would take the time to even consider me worth the effort? Who am I that He would send His son to die on my behalf in order that He could have a relationship with me? Who am I?
So, if it turned out that there was a God, and you could ask one question…what would it be?
Join us on Facebook to share your answer! Let’s talk about it!
Join Matt and Brandy this week as they talk about Bible reading and prayer – two of the greatest ways to navigate your faith. They’ll talk about things that have worked in the past and where they’re at now practicing these spiritual disciplines. You might be shocked!
Bible Apps for your phone (and maybe your computer): You Version Bible App – A great resource for multiple versions of scripture as well as a variety of reading plans and reminders to help you keep track.
“I like Jesus in the New Testament, but I could do without the God of the Old Testament. He’s just a bully.”
It’s a common complaint, so this week Matt and Brandy sit down with a special guest to talk about it. Is God the same throughout scripture? How can we trust that such a wrathful God is also a compassionate Savior? Join us for a lively discussion!
Gregg Chastain is the Pastor of Sandy Community Church in Sandy, Oregon. You can find out more about this church or contact Gregg by clicking here. You can also follow SCC on Instagram or Facebook.
Community Church of Sandy – A congregation of believers that merged from Community Presbyterian and Fellowship Bible Church circa 2015.
As we approach our 1 year anniversary on this podcast, we are taking some time to reflect on how to move forward. We need your input and feedback, so, please…
Email usyour ideas, thoughts, and feelings, as well as any questions you may have.
You can also support us financially by going to ourPatreon Pageand donating there. If you can’t commit to a monthly pledge, but would like to make a one-time donation, email us and we can direct you from there.