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Episode 20:  Brandi & Friends

  • Brandi gathers some friends for some random spiritual conversations...
  • Do we perform for God? Does He even care?
  • God is not your personal project or your side-piece.
  • God is concerned with the small things in your life; don’t box Him.
  • God had a plan for your life from the very beginning. Having too much to handle is still a gift.
  • What calling or dream has God placed on you?
  • Your faith heals you, but does faith-healing exist?
  • Has your relationship with God gotten too familiar? Have you forgotten the darkness?
  • You’re a royal heir to the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God; you’re not judged on unequal scales regardless of gender or station.
  • How are you handling singleness? The Church -- not you, individually -- is the bride of Christ. Some people idolize marriage, but recall the heroics of motivated spiritual singles. Do you want to marry just to not be single or because others think it would be good for you? Seek a relationship with someone who values you the way God does.

 

Scriptures we referenced

  • Luke 10
  • Matthew 7:21
  • Psalm 139
  • Job 39
  • James 3:1
  • Philippians 4:4
  • Matthew 25:14-30
  • John 14:11
  • Luke 8:42-48, John 9
  • Leviticus 25
  • Psalm 147
  • I Thessalonians 4:11-12
  • Proverbs 3:15-18
  • Jeremiah 29:11

 

Song credit & literature reference

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Episode 18:  One-on-One with Laura

  • Laura flies solo this week with a one-on-one interview with superfan Angie Ross!
  • Deep conversations lead to tight relationships.
  • Community means cultivating a sense of belonging; sharing values, experiences and purpose. It’s not just breeding sameness.
  • The early church shared everything. Showing up at church doesn’t automatically make you part of the community.
  • It’s easy to isolate ourselves when we feel like we need a recharge -- or when we feel hurt or bullied.
  • Where do you find your belonging? The church? Your family & longtime friends? Your workplace or school? Your ethnicity? What do you do when you feel like you don’t belong?
  • Find your thing and flourish.
  • Nobody really cares about your happiness.
  • Place the needs of the community above your own to truly demonstrate Christlikeness.
  • We will never find completion on this plane, but we can find contentment and joy.
  • There’s a difference between happiness and joy. One of them is a choice.
  • We need a community to care for our needs and to highlight God’s care.
  • Be willing to listen before responding.
  • There’s no way to make it to heaven on your own. Even a united community that speaks the same language can’t make it without Christ.
  • When you trust God, you can put others’ interests and needs above your own and challenges you to develop various aspects of your friendships.
  • Satan uses a lie to meet a need, and you often don’t even know what you need.
  • We can’t save one another, but we have an opportunity to bless one another.
  • Life is random. All we can do is obey God’s commands and love one another. This world is not our home.

 

Scriptures we referenced

  • Acts 2:42-47
  • I Corinthians 12:12-27
  • Isaiah 43:4
  • Philippians 2:5-7, 4:13
  • James 1:19
  • Genesis 11:1-9
  • I Peter 3:8

 

Song credit

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Episode 17:  Modest Is Honest

  • We have another special guest this week: Jooce Williams!
  • “Modesty” is typically code for conservative dress, particularly for women; but it’s not the intention or even the actual definition, rather it’s promoting an attitude of propriety and humility for women and men -- boasting not about ourselves, but taking security in God. It’s guarding our hearts and protecting each other; it allows our spirituality to shine.
  • Josh and Brandi shop together.
  • Women shouldn’t have to be frumpy for the sake of covering up. It can be frustrating; women are not responsible for preventing men from lusting.
  • Modesty means something different within different cultures.
  • What other characteristics make up a modest attitude?
  • Immodesty is more closely related contextually to materialism.
  • We often don’t respect each other’s struggles. It’s not your clothes, it’s your hearts. We have to examine ourselves, take responsibility, and help open up each other’s eyes. We need to have conversations instead of making assumptions.
  • Spiritual maturity will help us discern to whom we’re accountable (hint: ourselves and God).
  • How we represent ourselves to outsiders matters. We are subject to judgment.
  • Modest men are humble, respectable and respect their sisters.
  • Women and men, by our nature, are sensual and aggressive, respectively. We’re called by Christ to deny ourselves.
  • Humility teaches us to bury our tendency to make our own calls and not to seek advice. We can’t handle as much as we think we can.
  • We have to keep asking our how we should respectfully and humbly treat each other. People over history have not really changed, but generalizing gets us nowhere.

 

Scriptures we referenced

  • I Timothy 2:8-11
  • Proverbs 31:10-31
  • Proverbs 4:23
  • Matthew 5:27-29
  • Matthew 18:6-9
  • Ephesians 5:3-6, 21-27
  • Romans 14
  • I Corinthians 6:12-20, 10:23-26
  • John 8:3-11
  • James 4:4
  • Proverbs 11:14
  • Jeremiah 9:23-24
  • I Timothy 5:1-2
  • Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • Philippians 2:3-4

 

Song credits

 

Articles for further review

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Episode 16:  Our convictions

  • Special guest appearance by Matt Sanders!
  • How do you reconcile it when your personal convictions differ from church culture? What convictions should be universally shared?
  • Be like minded, have the mind of Christ.
  • Certain biblical truths we must live and die by, but they’re not necessarily the same as an individual’s or a community’s firmly held belief.
  • Plenty of practices can’t be found in the scriptures, but are influenced and inspired by them.
  • Discipling is God’s plan to partner up and learn how to obey Jesus in everything.
  • Does seeking an opportunity to serve someone when you’re not feeling spiritual or connected put you in a the vulnerable position of Jesus?
  • Discomfort is uncomfortable. It can either alienate you from or unite you to your community.
  • Out of what experiences do you develop your convictions? Failure? Shame? Naivety? Skepticism? Fear? Advice, prayer and the Word?
  • We have a responsibility not to judge one another’s faith and their struggles. If we’re not acting in faith and doubting, we’re sinning.
  • Maybe someone who is stronger should be silenced. Maybe the “weaker brother” has a point. Convictions aren’t supposed to be fact-based, but faith-based.
  • Many other sins are rooted in pride and jealousy. Satan’s pride got him expelled from Heaven.
  • “I’m prideful, but I’m not stupid.”
  • Surrender and prepare your heart and your ego.
  • How do your personal convictions affect your culture? Chances are others share your struggles. How well do we actually know and discipline ourselves?

 

Scriptures we referenced

  • I Corinthians 4:3-4
  • Philippians 2:2-5
  • Matthew 28:18-20
  • Romans 15:1-4
  • John 13:1-17
  • Job 31:1-4
  • Romans 14
  • Mark 9:42
  • I Timothy 4:4-5
  • Genesis 3:1-6
  • II Corinthians 11:3
  • Luke 6:45
  • James 5:16
  • Isaiah 14:12
  • Matthew 16:23
  • Luke 4:1-13
  • James 4:7
  • James 1:27

 

Song & video credits

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Episode 15:  Who is my neighbor?

  • What are some ways we demonstrate love and hospitality for our neighbor, like Mr. Rogers?
  • How we choose to be a neighbor says more about us than it does about them.
  • What is our intention when we try and love someone?
  • Remember who you are.
  • The goal is to lower yourself. You don’t necessarily get to pick and choose whom and how you serve. Serving is meeting a person where s/he is.
  • What does love mean? But what if I don’t love myself? What is the right way to love yourself and others?
  • #RoommateLife
  • Contribute to our next topic poll:  a) Women’s only b) Modesty c) Convictions

 

Scriptures we referenced

  • Luke 10:25-42
  • II Corinthians 5:17
  • Matthew 15:21-28
  • Mark 12:28-34
  • Exodus 32:7-14
  • Luke 17:11-19
  • John 13:8
  • Matthew 16:18
  • John 15:13
  • I Corinthians 13
  • I Peter 4:8-9
  • Jeremiah 17:9
  • Leviticus 19:9-33

 

Songs we referenced

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Episode 14:  What about me?

  • Pro tip: We’re not from Philadelphia.
  • Brandi and Laura return from an inspirational women’s retreat in Hershey, PA.
    • Brandi dislikes “church jargon,” but had an opportunity to teach a unique, practical class on thriving in relationships.
    • We got to meet some of our fans!
    • FAIL = Fear, Assumptions, Interpretations, Limits keep you from living up to God’s potential for you.
    • We get personally pigeon-holed by the roles we occupy.
  • What skills has God given you? How have your earthly skills transferred to service in the Kingdom?
  • Do we study the Bible academically or intellectually or do we let it prick our hearts?
  • We contrast and compare and overvalue some demonstrations of the Spirit over others.
  • Do we do better spiritually when we’re influential in the lives of others?
  • Do we feel unfulfilled if we’re not leading or regularly making disciples or not being as perceptually productive as others?
  • Should you care what other people’s faith produces? Only God -- not even your own conscience -- judges you.
  • What ended up happening to the older son in the parable of the prodigal?
    • How far do we extend grace before we demand personal responsibility and logic?
    • When do we get ours? Do we get jealous when somebody else gets the blessings we want or think we’re supposed to have?
  • Comparison damages relationships. We put people at arm’s length because we don’t want to hurt them by our resentment or by the hardships we endure.
    • Sometimes we enjoy being burdened and stressed. We tend to envy people in positions we want.
  • God fulfills his purposes for me.
  • “Comparison is the thief of joy” -- Teddy Roosevelt
  • “With great power comes great responsibility” -- Stan Lee
  • We only have Jesus to look up to.

 

Scriptures we referenced

  • Matthew 10:30/Luke 12:7
  • Matthew 28:18-20
  • Matthew 20:1-16
  • Luke 15:11-31
  • 1 Corinthians 4:3-4
  • 1 Corinthians 12:27-31
  • John 14:2
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • Psalm 57:2
  • James 3:1
  • Luke 18:9-14
  • Philippians 2:6

 

Song credit

Nothing compares 2 U by Sinead O’Connor 

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Episode 13:  We belong together

  • SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT!  The Word in the World reaches 500 downloads on Podbean!
  • Brandi, Josh & Laura return from a winter retreat focused on building a faith community.
  • Josh gets vulnerable about his struggle with feeling abandoned, with not being validated even by faithful people and with his skepticism toward people who claim hyper-happy spirituality.
  • Laura expresses her frustration with the dichotomy of being humbled by God's love even while being criticized by people who perceive Christians as holier than thou. 
  • Brandi & Laura ask, "Do people have a problem with God or a problem with God's people?"
  • How are Christians portrayed in the media? Does that representation translate to how we as everyday believers are treated?
  • Even if we suffer, it's totally worth it to distinguish ourselves and testify to how we've been changed.
  • Josh is the teacher's pet, and he doesn't believe in Myers-Briggs.
  • Have we been overtaken by "troll culture"? Is it actually harmful? Do we think we're better than others, even though nobody says it? How do the targets of our trolling feel about us? About themselves? Are we commuicating like Christ would?
  • Do we abuse the idea of encouragement?
  • We feel like members of a community when people respect the way we prefer to be treated.
  • Are we ashamed of our church and does that deter our witness?
  • The church is the family of God, and we're supposed to fight for our family. It's important to look beyond our culture and our beefs.
  • God does not intend us to go it alone! How do we convince someone to belong who would rather be introverted and isolated? We each have something to contribute. Do we believe we're worth it?

"In times of trouble, the wise build bridges and the foolish build walls."

 

Scriptures we referenced

  • Isaiah 42:6-7

  • I Thessalonians 5:4-11

  • Acts 26:28-31

  • Romans 14
  • Nehemiah 4:13-17

  • Ephesians 2:2-7

 

Songs we referenced

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