Posted in advice, Beatitudes, christian living, discipleship, friendship, identity, Podcast Show Notes, recovery, relationships

Give Peace(making) A Chance: Beatitude #7

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” – Matthew 5:9

What if we have it all wrong? What if being a peacemaker means we actually ruffle some feathers. Turns out, that’s exactly what it means. Peacemaking isn’t for the fainthearted. It’s messy work, but it’s what we’re called to.

Listen to the full episode here

We’ll be spending our time looking at Matthew 5:9 and 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.

The Oxford Dictionary defines a peacemaker as “a person who brings about peace, especially by reconciling adversaries.”

Three things we can do as ministers of reconciliation:
* Love the unlovely
* Sitting with sinners
* Proclaim the Gospel

So, roll up your sleeves. It’s time to get a little messy.

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Special thanks to James Swanson and James Page for their contribution to our theme song, The Long Road Home, written by Brandy J. Goebel. Copyright 2018.

This episode was recorded, edited and produced at 4G’s Studios in the lovely Sandy, Oregon, where the trees are green every day. 2019. All rights reserved.

Posted in advice, Beatitudes, christian living, humility, Podcast Show Notes, recovery, relationships, spiritual practices

Mercy Me! I Oughta Try That!

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” – Matthew 5:7

Mentioned well over 300 times in the Bible, mercy is a word we probably ought to pay more attention to. Especially in this day and age when politics and religion are getting co-mingled in ways that often make us forget that first and foremost, we are brothers and sisters in Christ.

Mercy Defined

The biblical definition for the word mercy, as used by Jesus in his sermon on the mount, is this: to be compassionate (by word or deed, specifically by divine grace); have compassion (pity on).

Meanwhile, Webster’s New World Dictionary defines it this way: 1. a refraining from harming offenders, enemies, etc., 2. imprisonment rather than death for a capital crime, 3. a disposition to forgive or be kind, 4. the power to forgive, 5. a lucky thing; blessing.

Listen to the full episode here

Live A Life of Mercy

This episode, as well as talking about what mercy is, we also focus on how to live a life of mercy in our day to day lives. We’ll look at 1 Peter 3:8-12 in the ERV (Easy to Read Version).

So all of you should live together in peace. Try to understand each other.
Love each other like brothers and sisters. Be kind [compassionate; merciful]
and humble. Don’t do wrong to anyone to pay them back for doing wrong
to you. Or don’t insult anyone to pay them back for insulting you. But ask
God to bless them. Do this because you yourselves were chosen to receive
a blessing. The Scriptures say,

‘If you want to enjoy true life
and have only good days, 
then avoid saying anything hurtful, 
and never let a lie come out of your mouth.
Stop doing what is wrong, and do good.
Look for peace, and do all you can to help people live peacefully.
The Lord watches over those who do what is right, an, 
and he listens to their prayers.
But he is against those who do evil.’

Listen

Listen in to this week’s episode to see some examples of how this might look in your own life.

Listen to the full episode here

Special thanks to James Swanson and James Page for their contribution to our theme song, The Long Road Home, written by Brandy J. Goebel. Copyright 2018.

This episode was recorded, edited and produced at 4G’s Studios in Sandy, Oregon. 2019. All rights reserved.

Posted in advice, Beatitudes, christian living, mental health, relationships, spiritual disciplines, spiritual practices

Hunger and Thirst No More: Beatitude #4

We all know what it’s like to be hungry and thirsty, longing for something to fill our bellies. But what about our souls? What if there was a way to fill up the mysterious void we all seem to have deep down inside us?

Join Brandy this week for a quick lesson on Beatitude #4 to learn how you, too can be satisfied to your deepest core.

Listen to the full episode here

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Special thanks to James Swanson and James Page for their contribution to our theme song, The Long Road Home, written by Brandy J. Goebel. Copyright 2018.

This episode was recorded, edited and produced in Sandy, Oregon, the 2nd fastest growing city in Oregon. Please don’t move here. 😉

Posted in advice, Beatitudes, christian living, depression and anxiety, divorce, grief, mental health, military, service, and veterans, motherhood, parenting, Podcast Show Notes, prayer, recovery, relationships, spiritual practices

Comfort in the Mourning: Beatitude #2

If we are born into this world we will, at some point, experience the exquisite pang of loss. We will weep for what was and mourn what will never be again. This world, it seems is the perfect training ground for grief and sadness.

But Jesus, in his sermon on the mount, as found in Matthew chapter 5, tells his followers, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

He doesn’t elaborate on this point, or frankly, any of the points he’s making in this exact moment of his discourse. He leaves it plain and simple. Essentially what he’s saying is, “The people who mourn will be happier than those that don’t because they’ll be comforted.”

Well, that seems odd, doesn’t it? Because like I said, if life teaches us anything, it’s that we’re all going to mourn at some point. So, what makes this statement so poignant?

This week, Brandy explores this brief beatitude by looking further into Jesus’ own suffering, the mission he was prophetically called to when he stepped into humankind as a man, and the mission of his second coming.

We’ll be looking at Matthew 5:5, John 11:32-38a, Isaiah 61:1-3, and 2 Corinthians 1:3.

The fact is, we are not alone in our suffering and grief. We have a God who can relate to our pain and has stepped into it with us.

Listen to this week’s episode to find out how well he can relate to us and what he promises us as our future with him unfurls.

Listen to the full episode here

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Special thanks to James Swanson and James Page for their contribution to our theme song, The Long Road Home, written by Brandy J. Goebel. Copyright 2018.

This episode was recorded, edited, and produced at 4G’s Studios in Sandy, Oregon, home of Bigfoot…. We have a hotel to prove it. 2019. All rights reserved.

Posted in advice, christian living, church life, mental health, Podcast Show Notes, relationships

Rewind: Jesus, Politics, and A Christian Response

As we enter into another Presidential Election, it seemed only fitting to review our approach to politics and people as followers of Christ.

Listen to the FULL EPISODE and a SUMMER ANNOUNCEMENT HERE

I’d also like to invite you to watch a sermon presented by our pastor, Gregg Chastain at Community Church of Sandy in Sandy, Oregon. We have recently started a series on the book of Daniel. It comes at a perfect time, as we as Christians find ourselves increasingly being marginalized and asked to conform to the world.

View the live stream of the sermon HERE

If you would like to help TRANSCRIBE our show or you have Pinterest expertise, please EMAIL ME.

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Posted in June 2019, Marriage and Dating, Podcast Show Notes, relationships

Self-Care for Your Marriage

Self-care is quite a little buzz phrase these days. We’ve all heard the term and use it to mean anything from taking a nap to going on vacation to spending quality time getting lost in a book.

But what does self-care for your marriage look like?

Listen to the full episode here!

Matt and I sat down and compiled a list of 10 things we think qualify as marital self-care. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, we believe it covers some of the most important (and often overlooked) ways you can nurture your marriage and your spouse. Let’s face it, we could all use a little more tenderness in our lives and who better to give it than your spouse?

Here’s our first ever Top Ten List:

  1. Date Night – This goes without saying, right? Dating your spouse is super important, especially if you have children who you’re also trying to raise. I mean honestly, kids are pretty attention-seeking and if we’re not careful they will easily pull focus. But your relationship deserves the time and attention it got back when you were trying to impress each other.

    It also goes without saying that most couples can’t do a once-a-week date because that can cost a TON of money! So find creative solutions: go for walks, take long drives on roads you’ve never explored, have a picnic, light some candles and take a soak in the tub, give massages. Now, if you have kids, you’re going to have to get even more creative…or bold. Don’t be afraid to ask another couple if they’d be willing to swap kids once a month. That way you both benefit from a night (or at least a few hours) free of kids without the expense.

  2. Find ‘Hidden Moments’ – This goes along with the first suggestion. You’re not always going to have a lot of time to enjoy each other’s company, so use the time you’ve got. Maybe it’s just a quick changing of the guard as you pass by each other on your way to and fro. Take a minute to exchange a meaningful moment. Check in with each other.

    Maybe you have a little bit of downtime while the baby is asleep. Go ahead and take a nap also, but do it together. Pack the kids up and head to McDonald’s. While they play, enjoy a Coke and have a conversation. Even if it’s in fits and starts, it’s better than nothing. Or do like we do…our kids are older but our daughter still isn’t driving herself and we’ve had some moments sitting in the car waiting at the pick-up line at school or while she’s in dance class.

    These aren’t the moments that will likely be full of great memories, but they are the moments that remind you both that your marriage is valuable and worth putting effort into.

  3. Pray for Each Other – It’s really such an easy thing to do, but how often do you we simply forget to pray for the person that matters most? When was the last time you asked your spouse, “How can I pray for you today?” Those few words show your mate that what’s important to them is important to you, too. They speak volumes. Ask this question at least once a week. (Note to Self: Be sure to ask Matt how I can pray for him this week….)
  4. Plan A Future Together – Whether it’s figuring out what you want to do for your next date, planning your dream vacation, plotting your next move or talking about the career you’d like to step into, planning for future events together keeps your eyes out ahead of you.

    It’s easy to get consumed with the day-to-day and only focus on the tasks (or children) that are right in front of you. But you are more than the next crisis your face. You have hopes and dreams and big ideas and so does your spouse. Celebrate those together by talking about something that’s coming up or something you’d like to see in the future. It will help stoke the fires that drive your passion toward a common goal and towards one another.

    Listen to the full episode here!

  5. Share Your Calendar – It’s not a glamorous suggestion, but just checking in with each other and sharing what’s on your calendar can keep you casually informed about any number of things. It’s great to be able to glance at the calendar and see what big events are looming because it reminds us how to pray for one another but it also can be an indicator as to why your favorite person in the whole world has turned into a monster. If your work presentation that’s happening on Thursday is written on the calendar, it just might help your spouse understand why you’re a little on edge.
  6. Pick Up the Slack When Your Spouse is Weak – There are going to be those days (and weeks and months) when your spouse just isn’t going to be able to do all the things you’ve grown accustomed to them doing. You’ll have those days, too. And when they happen, nothing feels better than knowing that your spouse has your back and is willing to step in and do the dishes or run the carpool or cook dinner. Especially when those things are done without expectation or guilt trips. Nobody needs that foolishness.

    If your spouse is sick, help out. If your spouse is depressed, let them rest. If your spouse is going completely postal because they’re sick and tired of being the only person in the entire house who seems to know how to wash a dish and put it in the dishwasher….wait, I’m sorry. I think I started to wander….

  7. Find A Mutual Hobby or Interest – We really like to watch TV together. It’s a great chance for us to escape for a little bit then come back to reality with some funny one-liners from whatever show we just watched. We could repeat show and movie lines all day long and just giggle. It’s our jam. We also really like playing Pathfinder together with a group of friends. We get to pretend to be heroes doing brave and amazing feats. Then we talk about the shenanigans our characters got up to until we play again. It’s how we unwind.

    Those things might not interest you at all. But what about hiking? Or beekeeping? Or going to antique stores? Video games?

    Whatever you both enjoy, jump in and do it together. If you haven’t found your thing yet, keep looking. Maybe try cooking or gardening. The point is, find “your” thing and then make time to enjoy it. The bonding that can happen in these moments is worth its weight in gold. I honestly believe that one of the reasons our marriage has survived through all the garbage is because we shared so many common interests and that kept our friendship alive.

  8. Compliment One Another – This shouldn’t be that hard, but for some it truly is. Some people just have a hard time remembering to say out loud the things that are in their heart while others simply can’t find anything worth complimenting in their spouse anymore.

    If that’s you in that latter group, dig deep. There was something in your spouse that initially drew you in. See if you can find it. If you can’t, look for something else. Anything else.

    The fact is, words have power. When we receive compliments, it bolsters us. It strengthens our confidence. It encourages us to do more of the same. Words of praise can soften the hearts of both those who give it and those who receive it. Compliment with sincerity and do it often.

  9. Have Meaningful Physical Touch – It doesn’t have to turn in to sex, but take time to hug and kiss and hold hands and give massages. These little displays of affection say everything without saying a word. You don’t have to put on a show in front of others, but simply hugging your spouse for a good 2 minutes will do amazing things for your emotional well-being and theirs.
  10. Have Sex – Yep. Just do it.

    Sometimes couples have vastly different sex-drives. That’s not uncommon but it’s also not an excuse. When we said “I do” we committed to loving our spouse and putting their needs above our own. We promised that what was ours was also theirs. That includes our body.

    It’s important to be attuned to your spouse’s sexual needs. Even if you’re not in the mood, you may just need to do what you can to get there because it’s been 3 months and your spouse is starting to look a little green around the gills.

    The fact is, you are a gift to your spouse. You are the gift that keeps on giving.

    Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean you have to get your funk on every single day, but it does mean that you need to do your part to show up for your spouse in order to show them that their needs are important to you.

    Have some conversations. Find out what’s best for you as a couple. Work together to find a compromise and then enjoy your time together. This kind of physical intimacy is unique and wonderful and a beautiful celebration of your love and commitment to one another. Relish it.

Listen, that was a LOT! The bottom line is this: if you are married, you are in it for the long haul. Wouldn’t it be better to do what you can to nurture your marriage and keep that spark alive rather than watch it burn out, having wasted time and energy on someone you “fell out of love” with?

Listen to the full episode here!

You don’t fall out love. You let love go. You give up on love. The fact is, marriage is really, really hard. It takes courage and tenacity and dedication and sacrifice and a thousand other things. You never get to a point when you can simply coast.

If you took the next 2 months or so and focused on one of these tips at a time, adding a new one every week, you might just be surprised at how your attitude and heart have changed. Give it a try. What have you got to lose?

 

Posted in christian living, March 2019, Marriage and Dating, Podcast Show Notes, relationships

Domestic Abuse and the Church’s Response

Listen to the full episode here

In Part 2 of my conversation with Crystalyn, we dig deeper into the response the Christian church often has in the face of marriages broken by domestic abuse.

Too often, we walk away from messy people and their situations because we’re afraid we aren’t equipped to deal with the level of need. Today, learn some simple ways you can come alongside a family who needs to be heard and supported, even if you aren’t a trained professional.

Abuse Hotline

or call: 1-800-799-7233

Find information on developing a Safety Plan

Abuse Recovery Ministry and Services (ARMS)

Additional information will be posted/updated as available.

 

The Road Home to You podcast can be downloaded from Google Play, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts and pretty much anywhere podcasts are available.
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Special thanks to James Swanson and James Page for their contribution to our theme song, “The Long Road Home” written by Brandy J. Goebel. Copyright 2018.

Recorded, edited and produced at 4Gs Studios in Sandy, Or. All rights reserved.

Posted in christian living, March 2019, Marriage and Dating, Podcast Show Notes, relationships, Uncategorized

Domestic Abuse: A Survivor’s Story

Join Brandy this week to hear the story of one woman’s experience in two domestically abusive marriages. Hear how she overcame the manipulation that threatened to keep her locked in a cycle of shame, as she reached out for help.

Listen to the full episode here

Hear also how the Church both helped and hurt her as she sought clarity and guidance and a safe place to land.

This is Part 1 of a 2-part conversation with Crystalyn Tadano Reed. This hour, Crystalyn shares her story of recognizing abuse and seeking help. Even as she walks us through the years of abuse she endured, her life continues to point back to the redemptive work of Christ.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS BEING ABUSED
please click on the following links to find resources for help.
You are not alone.

(ARMS) Abuse Recovery Ministry & Service
(This is located in the Portland, OR area)

The National Domestic Violence Hotline  

(NOTE: I WILL CONTINUE TO ADD RESOURCES AS AVAILABLE)

Join us next week for Part 2 to hear how we, as the Church can do a better job to come alongside those who are suffering in abusive relationships.

For more information and additional links, check out our website.

You can also find us on the following
social media platforms:
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You can also Email Us with any comments or questions.

Special thanks to you James Swanson and James Page for their contribution on our theme song, “The Long Road Home” written by Brandy J. Goebel. Copyright 2018.

Recorded, Edited and Produced by Brandy J. Goebel at 4Gs Studios located in beautiful downtown Sandy, OR. All rights reserved.

Posted in February 2019, Marriage and Dating, Podcast Show Notes, relationships

Communication Barriers and How to Overcome Them

Listen to the full episode here

In this week’s episode, Matt and I cover 8 common communication barriers that most couples encounter and then explore 7 ways to overcome them.

Because let’s face it: sometimes communication can be difficult. Between the busy-ness of everyday life to major stressors that are bound to occur, it’s not always easy talking to the person who’s going through life by our side.

Eight Common Barriers in Communication:

While these lists are, by no means, exhaustive, they definitely cover some of the major topics that we’ve either seen, experienced or heard other people talk about.

  1. Life transitions
  2. Financial Stress
  3. Physical and Mental Health Issues
  4. Busyness
  5. Changes in Sexual Relationship
  6. Extended Family
  7. Changing Hobbies and Interests
  8. Loss and Grief

Seven Practical Ways to Overcome Communication Barriers:

  1. Scheduling time for both fun and difficult conversations to take place
  2. In the middle of a crisis, put everything else on hold
  3. Keep a Captain’s Log
  4. Take time to really listen
  5. Honor and respect one another’s vulnerability
  6. Own your own issues
  7. Avoid passive-aggressive behavior

To hear how these ideas are fleshed out, tune into this week’s episode.

You can listen to the full episode here!

 

Posted in February 2019, Marriage and Dating, Podcast Show Notes, relationships

Show Notes – Valentine’s Day: How to Say “I Love You” without A Hallmark Card

Valentine’s Day.

The day that half the population runs from and the other half hopes will make their dreams come true. It’s a day wrought with expectation and disappointment.

All in an effort to say, “I love you.”

So what do you do when you’re the half of humanity that dreads this day more than the thought of a colonoscopy? Likewise, what do you do when you’re the other half that simply wants to know that you are loved above all others?

Join Matt and me, as we discuss some of our past Valentine’s day mishaps and what we’ve learned in 20-plus years that has helped us to love and honor one another despite our vast differences in approach to this holiday.

Listen to the full episode here

You’ll also learn a little history behind the holiday and find out why Sweetheart Conversation Hearts aren’t being made this year.

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Special thanks to James Swanson and James Page for their contribution to our theme song, “The Road Home to You” written by Brandy J. Goebel. Copyright 2018.

Recorded, edited and produced by Brandy J. Goebel at 4Gs Studios in Sandy, OR. 2019.