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 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 September 2018

Love is Love is Love is love

“Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up,
never loses faith,
is always hopeful,
and endures through every circumstance.
Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge
will become useless.
But love will last forever!

Three things will last forever –
faith, hope, and love-
and the greatest of these is love.”

-1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13

I have fallen in love numerous times.

First, there was Chris, in the 2nd grade. He was a real cutie and helped me produce a play that I wrote about Martians visiting McDonald’s. It was a smashing success. Next came Steve. He was a toe-head. We played a lot of dodgeball and four-square during recess together. Then there was Bobby, Jason, Danny, Mike, JJ, Ben, Brad, Dean… you get the point.

I fell in love a lot.

If you’re new to this blog, you may not recognize that none of the above-mentioned names is that of my husband, Matt.

I fell in love with him, too.

It was all so accidental. It just seemed to happen, this constant falling in love. Some said I was boy-crazy. Maybe. Probably. But I never meant to be. I didn’t look for love, it just had a habit of whacking me upside the head and there I’d go, tripping and falling right into it.

It wasn’t until Matt came into my orbit that I began to understand that all those other times, maybe couldn’t be called love. Sure the feelings were intense and sometimes even lasted years, but there was a distinct difference that I could see nearly right away.

For the first time in my young life, I actually cared about another person as much, if not more, than I cared about myself. I wanted to see Matt succeed. I wanted to help him reach his goals and achieve his dreams. I wanted to be an active part of making his life better.

Granted, I was a dumb teenager who didn’t know how to go about any of that, so most of what I tried still had the stink of selfishness on it, but my intentions were (mostly) pure. I wasn’t only worried about how happy he could make me. I wanted to reciprocate and give back to him because I…I loved him.

Deeply.

My love for Matt was and continues to fail on a regular basis. I am often impatient. Sometimes I’m (gulp!) unkind. I am highly irritable. (Please tell me I’m not alone?) My love is 100% imperfect 100% of the time. I never get it right. If I even start to, I am quick to boast of how well I am loving and well….there ya go. It’s blown.

The fact is, in our broken humanity we will never get it right. Books have been written on the subjects of loving our spouse, our children, our co-workers, our neighbors, our church body, our communities, and even our enemies. We continue to seek The Solution as we strive to imperfectly love imperfect people. There isn’t one.

Or rather, there is, but it has nothing to do with what we’re capable of alone.

The Solution – what perfect love looks like – is Jesus Christ. He alone has fulfilled the very definition of love. He alone has the ability to love perfectly because He lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death and then defeated it.

He can love because He is love.

We can only hint at perfect love when we have Christ in us. Apart from Him, our ability to love is nothing more than a noisy windchime, being tossed about by the storms of life.

We have a God who loves us beyond all measure. How can we know that? Because He loved us so much, He sacrificed everything in order to be in a relationship with us. Look at John 3:16 with fresh eyes. Say it out loud slowly:

“For this is how God loved the world:
He gave his one and only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him
will not perish but have eternal life.”
– John 3:16 (NLT)

That is perfect love. From a perfect God. And Jesus came to this earth to manifest that love in every tangible way.

Despite our best human efforts, we will never love anyone perfectly this side of Heaven. But with Christ in us, we can be emboldened to love freely, graciously, and extravagantly, in spite of those around us, not being swayed by our fickle emotions but standing firm in our choice to be obedient and answer the call to love God and love people.

Now go. Tell someone you love them. And mean it.

 

 

 

Posted in August 2018, Podcast Show Notes

Lessons from the Road to Calvary: Why the Cross Matters

Hey y’all! I’m really excited about this episode because my dad is joining me in it!

What? How can that be?

No, I haven’t figured out a way to communicate with people beyond the grave, but I am super fortunate that my dad recorded a bunch of his music over the years and I have some of it. So, at the conclusion of this episode, you will hear my dad singing a song he wrote in the ’80s. It was recorded in our garage studio, the original Throne Together Studios with his good friend, Phil.

(Shout out to Phil, who’s been a worship pastor for a lot of years and now has a ministry ministering to men and women who lead us weekly in worship. Go check him out here. He’s a cool dude.)

Anyway, this week’s episode is what it’s all about. It’s why we are so passionate about bringing you this show every week. It’s all about Jesus and the price He paid so we could come face to face with the God who made us.

Listen to the full episode!

You can also read the full transcript here.

Though only one scripture was directly referred to, many were referenced. Here are some of them:

*The Gospel accounts that relate the story from just before the crucifixion until Jesus’          ascension to heaven: Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, John 17-21

*Jesus clarifying the fulfillment of the law (“You have heard it said…”): Matthew 5:21-         22 and verses 27-30.

*Paul’s explanation of the fulfillment of the law: Galatians 3:10-29

*Grace is a complete and free gift: Ephesians 2:8-9

*God calling you the apple of His eye: Zechariah 2:8

If you have any questions or want to know more about dedicating your life to God, please get in touch with us. We would love to answer any questions we can or help put you in touch with someone close to you who can help guide you. 

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*          *          *

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

Outro Music: “The Man on Calvary” Written, arranged and performed by Jim Page. Copyright 2018.

Posted in August 2018

Faithful to All Generations

“For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting
and His faithfulness to all generations.”
– Psalm 100:5

This last Sunday a remarkable thing happened. I worshiped at my home church.

Admittedly, this doesn’t sound like such a big deal. But wait…. This was the church building I grew up in, the one I helped pound nails into when I was a little kid. The very building that I watched grow from a tree covered plot of land to a log church at the base of Mt. Hood.

Still, why is that remarkable?

Twenty years ago that church, along with two other churches in the area, decided to have a marriage, so to speak. Three churches became one.

Folks, church merges happen all the time. That’s nothing new. What’s exceptionally rare is when those merges work out.

That’s what happened in this case. Matt and I had already married and moved to Utah so I didn’t get to witness this marriage first-hand, but I heard the good news from family and friends.

And this last Sunday we had a 20-year anniversary reunion to celebrate it all.

Here’s the super cool thing: in that celebration, I got to see people I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. I got to see men and women, now gray and starting to show the effects of age, who helped shape and mold my life as a young believer. It was a beautiful collage of people from varied walks and backgrounds all converging in one place to raise their voices to praise the God who unites us as a family.

But there were several people who weren’t there.

There are those who, like my dad and my former pastor, have already gone to be with the Lord. There were also those missing who had only recently passed away, the wounds still raw from their sudden and early departure. There were those, too, who are coming to the end of their days, their health preventing them from making the trip to join us for such an occasion.

It was a beautiful picture of the Now and the Not Yet.

It was a reminder of the faithfulness of our God who unabashedly pursues us.

I was 7 years old when I asked Jesus to come into my heart and take me to Heaven if I died. I had no idea what I was signing up for. All I knew was that the people around me seemed different and I wanted what they had. I didn’t know it then, but it was hope and joy. They had a confidence that drew me in, wrapping me up in its warm embrace.

In the years that followed that child’s prayer, I continued to watch the older kids and adults that filled my days. I listened to their conversations about their faith and understanding of who God is; I watched as they struggled to put into practice the ideals that the Bible teaches. I saw God’s characteristics being manifested in my family, my youth leaders, my mentors and people who didn’t even know I was watching them.

And little by little, my own faith began to take shape and grow. I had my own struggles and battles to overcome, along with shining moments and clear victories. All the while, there were a handful of adults, wiser and more generous than I, who remained faithful to pray for me as I learned to spread my wings. They came along quietly but boldly, challenging my thinking and encouraging my faith.

In ways big and small, they helped me become the woman I am today. They were gentle and compassionate, full of grace and truth. Without their prayers and willingness to invest in a spiritually clumsy, selfish, and often impetuous kid, it’s impossible to say where I might be now!

As we sang together on Sunday, I closed my eyes and let the music wash over everything. The little church was packed tight and the voices filled it to the rafters with a sweet, sweet sound. And as I looked around afterward and saw the faces of the young and the old, families who were all together from the tiniest babe to the grayest of grays, it was evident that God has indeed been faithful through the generations.

I walked away that day with a sense of awe at how loved by God I am. He has welcomed us each to the table and calls us sons and daughters. He has lavished us with His love and grace. He has gifted us with people to share life with; people that can cheer us on and prod us forward. He has called us to be the same for somebody else.

We are the luckiest people in the world! We are part of the biggest, most inclusive, mixed up, eclectic family. How cool is that?

Who are you investing in? Is there someone in your sphere who needs a spiritual big brother or sister? What are you doing to show them Jesus? If there isn’t anyone like this in your life, why?

I’m just saying…somebody’s watching you. Whether you know it (or want it) or not, if you’ve publicly called yourself a follower of Christ, you are being observed. What are people seeing?

I don’t know about you, but I want to keep this cycle going. I want to sit in church someday with my own children’s children on my lap, knowing that they, too, are being taught the love and truth of a faithful God.

 

(P.S. To my mountain church family, I’m pretty positive that Dad, Stan, Grandma and Grandpa Wall, Jack, Jason, Ed and all the others who have gone before us were joining in the singing. There were angels in the rafters, I’m sure.)

 

 

Posted in August 2018, Podcast Show Notes

Show Notes: “Lessons from the Road to Samaria: A Life on Mission”

This week we travel alongside Jesus as He makes a quick trip through Samaria where He meets a woman and turns her world upside down.
Listen to the full episode!
Brandy takes us to John chapter 4 and walks us through why Jesus traveling to Samaria was a strange event in the first place and then shows us the significance of what happened there. From the compassion He shows to a woman with a life full of sin to the way that Jesus saw every day as an opportunity to share His message of hope and redemption to the people He encountered, this simple story is chock-full of challenges to us and the way we interact with the world.
Scripture: John 4
At the conclusion, Brandy shares the importance of reading Show Notes. (This very page so if you’re here, congratulations!)
For a complete transcript click HERE
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Posted in July 2018, Podcast Show Notes

Mini #3 Show Notes: “Lessons from the Road to Emmaus”

In the third week of our summer series, two dudes walk to Emmaus. Brandy croons a tune. And we get our first Patron through not-so-veiled threats.

Listen to the episode here

We all have troubles, right? Please tell me I’m not alone. Life is hard, sprinkled with aggravation and sometimes thoroughly horrible circumstances. The news is depressing and it seems kind of like the sky is falling.

Take heart! Things weren’t any better 2,000 years ago as a man named Cleopas and his buddy were walking to Emmaus, talking about the recent crucifixion of Jesus.

Seriously…take heart. Things may not look any brighter in the here and now, but in this story, we are pointed back to the prophets who told of the Messiah’s first coming and assure us of His second coming.

Read the Full Transcript here

Scripture: Luke 24:13-35

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Special thanks this week to Teresa for becoming our first Patreon supporter! She signed up as a Ride or Die-er and will receive the Micah 6:8 print as well as a hand-bound journal.

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One final note: Master Closet Studios has been given a fresh coat of paint and a mini-makeover. To see the video tour go to Facebook. You’ll find the video there!