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, Fatherhood, June 2019, parenting, Podcast Show Notes

Dad Wisdom

Turn on the television and chances are good that you’ll find a show with a father who is ignorant, incapable or simply a joke. Hollywood has a knack for making a mockery of one of the most important and influential roles any man can have. And we, as consumers, have quickly adapted and assumed that the men in our lives truly are incapable of most any task and are hardly worth listening to.

It’s sad, really.

We have gone from the adage “Father knows best” to the attitude “Fathers don’t even matter.” We have relegated the role of Father as merely an afterthought. As if the contribution of sperm and a little DNA were all that men have to offer in their role as Parent.

What would happen if we actually paid heed to the wisdom of these men, who’ve provided food, shelter, and clothing to us? What would happen if we stopped to reflect on the messages they’ve sent us, often without any words at all? What would happen if we, for a brief moment, paused to listen to their silence, to hear what they hear?

Listen to the full episode here

This week, Matt and I sat down and shared some of the lessons our dads have each taught us. My own dad has been gone now for over 20 years, taken by a sudden heart attack in the middle of the night. We lived a couple states away at the time and the phone call I received from my mom at 3:00 a.m. is one I won’t soon forget. My dad’s death shook me to my core and honestly, nothing’s quite been the same ever since.

I only had 23 years with my dad. But those 23 years counted because he made them count. He invested in my brother and I and the boys he led in Scouts. He invested in the kids he taught at our high school and in our church’s Sunday School. He invested in his wife, my mom. He invested in his relationship with the God who saved him. And he lived that all out in front of us every day. He sometimes fell, but he was never too proud to admit his own shortcomings.

I could spend hundreds of pages writing down the lessons he taught me in those short years. He was a good, flawed, passionate man who loved God, his wife, and his kids.

Matt’s dad is still around, for which we are super grateful!

He, too, has loved God and his wife and kids well. He has shown himself to be loyal and disciplined and compassionate, a rock in the storm. And while he’s been a good model for Matt to look to, he’s also been a second dad to me. He’s shown his grace and love in a million ways over the years.

Matt and I recognize that we are exceedingly fortunate to have both been raised by godly, loving men, who were committed to their families. We understand that not everyone is that fortunate.

That being said, because we were both blessed to have a couple of good eggs for dads, we wanted to share with you some of the wisdom they shared with us.

Here’s a little glimpse:

  • Slow down and enjoy the process
  • Set your priorities
  • Belly laugh
  • Dream big and chase those dreams
  • If you’re going to do a thing, do it well
  • Persevere
  • Say you’re sorry

Listen to the full episode here!

Of course, the list could go on and on. This is just a fraction of the lessons our dads have taught us over the years. And I’m sure, as we continue to reflect on the men who helped raise and shape us and the ways they impacted our lives, more and more lessons will reveal themselves.

Driving home from dance class with my daughter tonight, we were talking about the importance of valuing people in our lives. She’s worried that she takes us, her mom, dad, and brother, for granted. She does. We all do. That’s what happens when you have someone in your life who’s just always there. They start to blend in with your surroundings. You don’t always notice the ways they add value to your life on a daily basis.

Until they’re gone.

Suddenly, those smiles, the hugs, the laughter, the sage advice, and the off-color jokes, all crystalize and you understand how valuable and sacred that love is. It all comes into super sharp focus and all you want is one more chance to say “I love you.”

As you listen to this week’s episode, I trust that you will not only be challenged by some of the lessons we’re passing on, but also that you would consider the men in your own life, whether they’re your father or a father-figure, and the ways they have shaped and molded you. Would you take the time to put into words the value they’ve added to your life? Would you share that with them?

Dads are really important. And not just because they’re the best at telling Dad Jokes. Dads have a lot to offer if we give them half a chance.

Tell your dad you love him. I know he’d like to hear it.

-Brandy

Listen to the full episode here!

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Me (Brandy) on my first pony ride with my mom and dad on either side. Circa 1975.

 

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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Pinterest

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 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!

Come check us out on Instagram and Pinterest

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.

You can find us on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest

You can also email us.

 

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, 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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