Hey you!

Ok, I’ve been listening to some podcasts again and had to share the ones sticking out to me.

So kicking it off in true form with all the Family Life Today episodes I’ve really loved, you know, aside from all of them.

  1. The Power of a Wife’s Affirmation — This is a recording of Anne Wilson speaking on their yearly couples cruise. It’s a must for all women to help them understand the power of their femininity on men, especially us wives.
  2. Killing Spiders — As a part of Family Life Today the played another speech from their cruise featuring Gary Thomas. I LOVE Gary Thomas. He has some great books for dating, marriage, relationship, etc. Excellent speaker and some real practical and applicable advice for your marriage. Definitely worth the listen. (this one will probably make you cry a bit)
  3. Forgiveness — This is by Voddie Bauchman and man is he amazing. Yes he’s talking about in the context of marriage, but only SLIGHTLY. This is a GREAT break down of forgiveness and what it means and why we struggle with it. This is a personal battle of mine that I’m having a very hard time breaking through. Bauchman did an amazing job of showing me where my footfalls are.
  4. Finding God in the Desert of the Soul — Mike and I have been enjoying some Saddleback Church sermons that usually feature Rick Warren. But they had one of their other pastors speaking a few weeks back and I like him even more then Warren. He five main points about what you can be doing while in the desert and believe me, I feel like I’ve been in the desert for awhile now. If you need some practical direction and advise as to what you should be doing here and now in life, check this one out.
  5. Lastly, Maybe Just the Podcast — this is a shameless self plug. My bff and I started this podcast at the beginning of the year and we’re really enjoying making it all come together. It’s new and it’s a bit rough, but we want you to join us weekly for a little coffee (or wine) chat!

That’s all I’ve got at the moment, but they have helped me reflect and grow a bit more.
Let me know what you’re listening to! I’m always looking for more and other podcasts to check out.


Growing up in the church, we’re always told that 10% of our income should be given to the church.

Several church plants/fund raising and who knows how many sermons later, I still roll my eyes just as heavily every time that message-theme pops up.

First, nowhere in the bible does it say 10%. This is taking out of the book of Leviticus (27:30) in terms of how much land/crops/etc. the Israelites were to set aside for God. Then again in the book of Mark (12:41-44) we’re given an example of tithing, in this case a widow versus the wealthy. But no definitive amount is listed.

My most recent exposure to church-funds raising has left me shaking my head. Most of the call to actions are challenges, “Give and see how God gives to you,” “Give and see how your perspective is changed,” “Give and see what we the church can do.” All relevant and good points. More importantly, as a Christian, we believe we are stewards of all we posses therefore making the whole idea easier to understand and justify giving to God. It’s his money after all. But for me, I have an issues with church pushing, all but demanding, you be tithing regularly to their cause. Yes, churches are important, buildings need maintenance, people need a place to go, and the list goes on. However, there are MORE things you can be giving to that are impacting local and global communities better than I personally believe a lot of churches can and will. Churches require staffing, salaries, benefits, maintenance, etc. The cost can be high, justly so, to support all the people that are living and dedicating their life to the church’s mission. One huge benefit of this is that churches can host numerous ministries as a result. They can be the platform other outreaches can use for practical reasoning.

I still don’t like the pushing. I have just finished over a month worth of sermons telling me how to give, why to give, what to give, and when to give. In my life, sometimes I have given more out of discipline and obedience than my heart being in the right place. I don’t think that’s wrong, although ideal you’re working towards your heart being in alignment with the action.

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7

However, sometimes people’s circumstances are just too much for them to be giving; too much debate, a known huge expense coming, barely scrapping by, and in those instances we are directed to that chapter in Mark. But not because a church or pastor is telling you to. I believe personal financial guidance and overall stewardship encouragement would have a greater impact for the people of Christ.

For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have. – 2 Corinthians 8:12

I have used the 10% as a guiding block of where to start, but I personally hope to be giving and using what God has given me on a much larger scale than that in my life. I also understand that sometimes the barn (or church) needs to be raised and obviously they need funds to do it, and there are always some great biblical points to take out of the “money-bag” sermons.

Here are some things I’ve gathered over the years:

  • Earthly treasures can’t follow us into eternity (this does NOT mean you can’t or shouldn’t enjoy them. See Solomon.) Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. – Luke 12:33-34
  • Money (or time, or resources) can be used to create eternal impact (this is cool to think about) both for the giver and receiver: You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. – 2 Corinthians 9:11
  • God is generous, so we should be too: Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. – Hebrews 13:16
  • You can’t serve money and God: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. – 1 Timothy 6:10

This was mostly a rant, but needless to say it’s been a good challenge of making sure my perspective is on God and not just what’s next.

Here are some of my favorite missions (and a church trying to build) if you’re at all interested or unsure where to start:

Drop your favorite charities in the comments! I always love to know what else is out there!

All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing. – Proverbs 21:26

Podcast Update!

I’m definitely slacking off… But! I’ve been listening to various podcasts over the last month and I wanted to share my top two.

First up: Daring to Wait on God (Part 1) from Pastor Rick’s Daily Hope. I love Pastor Rick. I think he always has some really good key points on whatever topic he’s preaching on and most of his podcasts are no more then 20 minutes? Great for a quick reflection/quiet time in the car or over a short lunch break. It is one of three (I think?) and while I started part two and didn’t finish, I think part one was plenty good enough on it’s own. He covers five main things to remember when waiting on God, 1) There’s a natural daily between planting & harvesting, 2) There’s an unseen battle going on, 3) God is preparing me for his blessing/what’s next, 4) There’s good company in the waiting room, and 5) Remember that God always keeps his promises.

Number two: What is a Cultural Christian from Family Life Today. As always, I LOVE Family Life Today. You can never go wrong listening to them. In this episode they chatted with author Dean Inserra about what it means to be a follower of Christ verses more of a lifestyle-cultural belief. Very interesting and compelling to reflect on if you yourself claim to be a Christian. It definitely helped me question my own life values and how I prioritize things. It also pointed out that while everyone needs to hear the truth, sometimes living it out in a country such as the USA might be more difficult in some ways. There is at least one other episode that piggy-backs off of this topic, also highly compelling, but I thought this one was a good starting (and possibly ending) point.

Anyway, there are so many podcasts to listen to these days that sometimes I always find a little recommendation surprisingly helpful. Maybe you’ll hate both of these or love them! It’s definitely a personal preference. Either way, I would love your recommendations as well!

Book – 9 Lies That Will Destroy Your Marriage

I discovered this book after listening to a Family Life Today podcast, and while in the midst of my first year of marriage I decided I should give it a read. (you can grab it here)

It’s written by Robert Paul and Greg Smalley. Both are apart of Focus on the Family Hope Restored retreat and program, helping thousands of couples walk through life together. This book is a conglomeration of key lessons or “lies” they have witnessed in marriages over the years that they believe can be root causes of marital decay.

I found the book very practical and insightful. There were certain ideas and practices I had either created or witnessed growing up that had created these “lies” in my head for my marriage. I found it to be a great biblically grounded tool-book for working through some of the misconceptions created by particularly Christian culture around marriage.

I would highly recommend for couples who are sensing some growing discord in their relationships as sort of a “self-checker” or making sure you aren’t clouding your own judgement while also providing a good and practical discussion/conversation starts for growing and working through things as a couple.

Podcast – Sheologians

I stumbled upon this podcast over a year ago and I love it just as much now as I did then. This podcast has helped me tap into my theological side without having to do any of the reading. Summer & Joy do a great job examining real world issue us Christian women face day-to-day and break down what issues we face, why they’re problems, and how we should be viewing them and handling them as followers of Christ. They have created a great and supportive following of Christian women who have personally challenged me to figure out what the bible actually says about things.

This podcast specifically looks at the issue of sex and the impact is has on us as women and what the bible says is true. I had never looked at the modern day view of sex this way before and I found it incredibly helpful to further deepen my belief in what the bible says about sex.

You can find the podcast and its resources here.

Podcast – Family Life Today

This is one of my all time favorite faith-based podcasts. Any and everything to do with relationships, family, marriage, kids, faith, growth, change, forgiveness…. the list goes on and on, this podcast touches on.

This specific podcast stuck out to me with everything happening in the US right now. I have found it particularly challenging to find the balance of faith and politics. So many people are putting so much time and energy into the political environment and I felt that this particular episode touched perfectly on what our focus and perspective should be on as Christians.

You can find the podcast and its resources here.