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Unexpected with Hannah Love

English, Christianity, 1 season, 107 episodes, 1 day, 16 hours, 44 minutes
About
Have you ever spent much time thinking about the events that led you to where you are? Have you ever noticed that some of the most unexpected moments are very ones that God used in the biggest ways? Not only did I notice this theme in my own life but I also saw it all over the Bible. From Moses and Gideon, to David and Esther and Nehemiah, God seemed to call the most unqualified people to do the most unexpected things. As you listen to stories, I hope you gain a new perspective of how God loves us enough to call us to the things we couldn't have imagine for ourselves. This is Unexpected.
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Episode 94: Unexpected Legacy

I know I’m guilty of saying this in episodes past, but I think it’s worth saying again: we are all just one decision away from changing generations. To the woman with an unplanned pregnancy… you’re one choice away from changing the history of your life and legacy. Generations will be affected by what you choose. To the one unable to take the step and leave the job and pursue what God has been calling you to. You’re one decision away from a different life and a different future. To the one being called to homeschool your children… or the one being called to move to a new place. To the one facing the choice of a secure job or blazing a new trail. The outcome will likely outlive you. Whether that be because you lived your life within the box or because you stepped out and built something bigger than you. Choices. They can be hard and heavy and overwhelming. But I’m here to tell you.. its those choices, one by one, that stack up and turn into a life and a legacy. Oftentimes, or really, every time, these choices, should be fueled by faith. In a world that revolves around security and success, faith often feels like a luxury we can’t afford to count on. But what if…just what if it cost us much more dearly not to choose based on faith. Faith for what God has put in you. Faith for where He is calling you. Faith for how He will accompany and equip you. Faith to see His purposes for your life…better than anything you could ask or imagine for yourself? It’s hard to wrap our minds around today.. but the watered down version is this: Rahab was a prostitute. One can only imagine what brought her to this point. History would imply that, as was common in that culture, she could have been sold or forced into this life. We will never know.. but what we do know is this woman loved her family. She thought enough of her parents and siblings to want them saved along with her. She was bold in her ask. But I actually smile thinking her boldness matched her faith. I’ve often wondered if Rahab had endured a life of loneliness and scorn by many. A life that could have held shame and abuse. No matter what her circumstances were, though, she allowed herself to make a choice.. not based on how she saw HERSELF, but rather, on how she saw God. The God of the Israelites. Her faith enabled her to step outside of herself and save not only her own life, but that of her family. And do you want to know the real WOW here? Rahab is listed in the genealogy of king David and eventually…Jesus himself. Think of it. This woman of ill repute was a foreigner. But in FAITH, she was rescued. Redeemed. Brought into the people of God, and included in the greatest legacy of all. That of our ultimate savior. What a testimony. One that shows us how one choice can change generations. It is the story of rescue, mercy, redemption, and grace. God’s purposes are greater than we could ever ask or imagine… if only we have Faith to follow where He calls. Today, my prayer is that this story is the reminder and encouragement you need this week. My prayer is that your choices are made in faith. Not a faith on anything you’ve done or anything you’re capable of, but rather, your choices are made in faith of who God is. And what He is able to work in and through you with an obedient heart, and the courage to follow where He leads.. I love you all. May your week be full of faith-filled choices and God’s goodness.
7/15/202412 minutes, 34 seconds
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Episode 93: Hot Topics with Erica Bankston

We thought it would be interesting to ask AI some questions to answer for you. The question Erica plugged into ChatGBT was “Common questions Christian women have in today's culture.” I had no idea what to expect but I was honestly shocked and so excited to see the questions it pulled together. There were some hard-hitting questions in this episode, and we’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions. Here are the questions we tackled. “How do Christian women navigate the tension between traditional gender roles and modern expectations in today's society.” “How can Christian woman reconcile their faith with societal pressures related to body image, beauty standards, and self-worth.” “What advice do you have for Christian women who struggle with balancing career aspirations and family responsibilities.” “How can Christian woman find and cultivate a supportive community of like-minded sisters in Christ for encouragement and accountability.”
7/1/20241 hour, 46 seconds
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Episode 92: Conflict Resolution - with Erica Bankston

We are back!!!
6/24/202453 minutes, 8 seconds
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Episode 91: Gifts Of The Holy Spirit - Part Two

Back this week with part two of last week's episode!! I've loved being able to sit down with Erica more and share the conversation with you guys.
6/3/202450 minutes, 51 seconds
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Episode 90: How Did Our Generation Derail? & Supernatural Gifts of The Holy Spirit

We are back!!! In today's episode, we cover a lot of ground... so much that we've had to split this episode into 2 parts!!
5/27/202452 minutes, 59 seconds
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Episode 89: Supernatural Darkness with Erica Bankston

Hi friends! I am back and sitting down today with one of your favorite guests we’ve had on the pod, my sis Erica Bankston! You know when we’re together we dive into all the hot, touchy topics - so here we go. Today we are talking about the darkness, specifically the supernatural world and how it invades our everyday life without even really knowing it…. until you look for it. 
5/20/202453 minutes, 58 seconds
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Are You Ready To Fight For What God Promises (The Story of Gideon)

Taking it back to the old testament, lets grab our popcorn and settle in. I’ll drop a little background info to set the scene. After the great exodus from Egypt and all of the miracles throughout the life of Moses, there begins another era. This is the era of Joshua.  After Moses’ death, Joshua stepped in as the new leader. Not just a leader but a warrior-leader whose role was to press in and fight for the inheritance God promised His people. This inheritance was the promised land. But here’s the thing about God’s promises. They come with action. See, God promised to give them the land but that didn’t mean that their enemies were just going to pack up and hand it over to them. No. The blessing of a promise comes only through obedience. And obedience means action. They had to fight.  Gosh, there are so many lessons we could touch on in the story of Gideon. But one of my favorites is the fact that God calls him while he’s hiding from His enemies. Isn’t that so like God? To call us out of hiding. To see us in the dark. To call us into the light. To call us to fight.. To remind us of the promises and the inheritance. To remind us of our commissioning to obey so He can fulfill His word and bless His people?  The story is also a great reminder that God is patient with us.. There’s a wonderful quote by Tony Evans: “You can ask God a question, but you should not question Him.” Y’all… that can preach! See, God knows we are human. He knows our minds, our hearts, our thoughts.. He knows our weaknesses. I also believe it is part of His nature to want to establish that personal relationship and build on trust. As a father to a child. I can personally share that when God has asked me to do something and I’m hesitant to receive it… I’ll start asking Him to confirm it’s Him. And time and time again…He does! In ways only I would notice or ways that would only be important or meaningful to ME, He does it. God knows how to talk to His kids!  But, there’s a next step. It’s that obedience bit. Gideon asked God not once but TWICE to confirm what He as asking him to do… and He did it. So, Gideon’s response then HAD to be to obey. Once again… He had obeyed God in destroying the idols of his father’s house. Now, God was asking him to take a bigger step.  There’s a line I read while researching on this topic that says it like this, “He will not rebuke us for having questions, but when He answered our prayers, we must demonstrate faith to believe what He says.” See, God is always faithful on His end. It is up to us to have eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts that recognize Him. Then.. it is up to us to follow through. To obey.  Today, I want to leave you with this reminder. God calls and uses and equips who He will. When there is humility, sacrifice, and obedience. Victory lies behind every ‘yes’ in obedience to God’s calling. We may not see it in the physical, but God has already gone before us today and for the remainder of our days. He knows. And He’s calling. May we all have the courage to answer with a yes. With clean hands, pure hearts, and a desire to be used for His glory!
4/29/202418 minutes, 52 seconds
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Episode 87: How Does God Show Us The Desires Of Our Heart?

I just wanted to pop on today because I feel like something that can be so comforting in this world is that God knows the desires of our hearts. And that could be scary because sometimes we don't even know the desires of our hearts, but let me just tell you the secret to tapping into what those desires are and what the future looks like when we pray this prayer.  So years ago I started praying this prayer, God, I want your will for my life. I just want, I want what you want. Whatever that is. I didn't know, the desire of my own heart. I didn’t know my dreams. I didn't know what was deep-seated in me. I'd had hints and clues through the years, but no sure direction. And I knew that the Bible made these promises and I know that the bible referred to the desires of our hearts and that God would meet those. And, I used to struggle because I thought to myself, what even are the desires in my own heart? I don't even know if that is. But in Psalms 37, this is the encouragement given.  I knew that was a promise. I KNEW that it was in the Bible, but I didn't know what the desires of my heart were until God revealed them to me. And the way that He reveals the desires of your own heart is to pray that prayer, God, Your will for my life. It says here, it says, Fix your heart on the promises of God and you will be secure. Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life. See guys, when your eyes, when your gaze is fixed up, when asking for God to guide and direct and lead your steps, there is no failing.  There is security there. He created you. He formed you before the creations of the world.  Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it. So we, are preordained for a plan that God wrote. Before we we're born He knew us. He formed us He shaped us He chose the family we would be born into. He chose the time and country we were born in. He knew it all, and he had a plan. So when you submit and surrender, you ask God to lead and direct you, to guide your steps, to align your heart’s will with his own.  When your heart longs for the will of God be done, it will be so. And let me tell you the neat thing about asking God to align your heart with his own will. See when you do that he will answer prayers for you that you've prayed.  In the past he doesn't forget anything that we've asked and even if we didn't have the words, even we didn' t know what we were asking for, he knows the heart motive behind it. He knows that thing that we have longed for even, if can't put it into words for ourselves. 
4/22/202412 minutes, 33 seconds
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Episode 86 : Conquering The Fear Of Man: KNOWING That You’re Called- A Conversation With Jessi Green

Jessi Green is a passionate revivalist and preaches the Gospel with power, shaking religious systems, casting out demons, and equipping the Saints to be full of fire and making disciples of Jesus. Alongside her husband Parker Green, they lead Saturate Global, a grassroots revival movement baptizing thousands and awakening the nations to the resurrection power in Jesus! She believes that everyone is qualified to share the Good News and challenges status quo Christianity in her most recent book "Wildfires".
4/15/202447 minutes, 5 seconds
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Episode 85: Dating, Singleness and Red Flags, OH MY! - A Conversation with Alex Rasmussen

I was chatting with my friend Alex the other day and felt like we had to continue this conversation on the podcast to share with you guys! If you are single, newly dating or seeing some "flags" (red or green) - you're going to want to tune into this one!
4/8/202436 minutes, 13 seconds
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Episode 84: Who Will We See When Jesus Returns

I feel like culture today fixates on the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Its the thing that makes a headline a headline. Something tragic. Or something feel-good. Rarely, are we given the whole of it. It’s polarizing, really, when you don’t see the whole picture. It’s a trap that grabs attention and brands our thoughts with a narrative; good or bad.  I would even hazard to say it’s not much different from the versions of Jesus the world proclaims. Over the last few months I keep considering the picture of the Lion and the Lamb. Scripture is full of references to both. Jesus, of course, is both. His nature is complex, intricate, and deeper than human minds can comprehend. This is what got me thinking about the days of Jesus. Despite being depicted in countless movies and cartoons and shows.. we forget: He was an actual person in history with real stories and encounters. These are canonized forever in what we now call the Bible.  But here’s the thing; the Jesus that people knew and experienced in Bible times is different than how we perceive Him today. And to be fair, those people really only had half of the story. The Jesus we so often hear about today is the gentle lamb. He is mercy and peace and grace and love. All of this is true… But this is NOT what the people of Jesus’ time were expecting. It’s actually fascinating to me because the people of Jesus’ time were actually expecting Him to come as a conqueror. A reigning king. A roaring Lion.  At the time, there was only (what we know as) the Old Testament. In fact, the life and death of Jesus ushers in what we now call the New Testament! It was even prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31 .And this prophecy was fulfilled with the death and resurrection of Jesus. The New Testament makes it clear in Matthew 26:28. When you think of it in this way, about how the culture of that day was familiar with the prophecies it makes sense. It makes sense that they missed it. They were expecting the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Genesis 49:10 prophecied.  Right from the start, we get a picture of The Messiah who comes to reign! Later on we see in 2 Samuel 7:12-13. I feel like today’s culture has it totally flip flopped. Today’s culture (and I hate to say it but sometimes even the Church) prefers to talk about the Lamb version of Christ. It’s true. It’s part of his character and nature. But guys, there’s a whole other piece. It’s the part the Jews were looking for thousands of years ago. And indeed, when Jesus returns, it will be as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He will come with eyes of fire and feet of bronze. He will come with a double edge sword meant to CORRECT us as well as bless us. The fact is, Jesus the Messiah will return for His bride. He will return to cleanse the earth and make it new. He will return to reign. He won’t be returning to affirm how we feel about truth and morality. Those things have already been defined. He will be returning to establish His kingdom in the manner God always intended. It will be restored, redeemed, and made perfect.  Jesus is coming back as the Lion. He already came as the Lamb. His life and death met every promise and will meet the ones left unfulfilled upon His return.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking He loves us and tolerates all that we feel like doing. Sin separates us from God. And Jesus will return to destroy that which separates us from our Father. Don’t live in fear of this but instead, understand we serve a God who loves us enough to correct and rebuke. One who loves us enough to convict and purify the things in us that keep us from deeper intimacy. Let’s not be like the people of Biblical times who Missed it. Let’s see God for who He is in the whole picture. Lion and Lamb. Sacrifice and Savior. Servant King who laid it down for us to return again, and restore what Satan stole. Rejoice as we continue ahead, knowing the battle is won, and we have only to be ready for His return.. 
4/1/202410 minutes, 21 seconds
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Episode 83 : Is Christian Yoga An Oxymoron?

Over the last year or so, I have noticed more and more the ease with which we roll into cultural “norms”. With that in mind, there are a few topics I thought it could be interesting to dip into. After all, as Christians, we should be be looking at culture with a Biblical world view. That’s not to say we should be judgy. I simply assert that we SHOULD be applying Biblical principles and a Biblical mindset to the culture we are so deeply entrenched in. So. Here we are opening up this conversation with a bang. I’m back with my incredible friend and sister-in-law to discuss…. Yoga. After pulling out some research and sharing some amazing testimonies, we are excited to share what we found about the origins of yoga. Our goal today is to shed light and provide some context around our own convictions! We hope to share a Biblical perspective for what is easily considered a cultural norm. Join us today as we dive in to yoga and even a few other bonus topics (free of charge, ha)!
3/25/202438 minutes, 46 seconds
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Episode 82 : Expectations Vs Standards - Let's Talk Relationships

There are a million things I would go back and tell my younger self. But here is one I wish I had an understanding of WAY sooner than I did. Standards and expectations are two very different things. Expectations in a relationship may mean compromise, in order to grow together as a couple. Standards, on the other hand, are fundamental and unchanging. Your standards are your core beliefs. They align with who you are, (and hopefully who God says you are). They align with what you want for your life, and what you are unwilling to settle for. Never adjust your standards because a man is unable or unwilling to meet them. Expectations are negotiable. Standards aren’t. Once you are able to make the distinction between the two, then you will be setting yourself up for a happier and healthier life. As I got to thinking about this encouragement, I decided to take it a step further and delve into the Biblical principle behind it. After all, God gave us standards for a reason. And THEN I got to thinking about how people in the Bible were also full of expectations! It’s the whole reason I even have this podcast… God loves to work outside of our expectations. Working in the unexpected. Working according to HIS standards, not our expectations of Him or how we think He should operate. Standard: An approved model. serving as a basis of weight, measure, value, comparison, or judgment. of recognized excellence or established authority: Expectation: The act of anticipating something I’m afraid however, that culture today has pushed this idea of holding high expectations rather than high standards. The wording is close but its a few degrees off and I personally feel like can be slippery slope to use the two terms interchangably.. see, I believe expectations really boil down to putting self desires over a true standard. Of course, we don’t want to view it that way, but at the root of it… thats pretty much it. Here’s the truth: God’s word IS the standard by which we ought to live! Maybe that sounds presumptuous but let me explain why this is the only infallible practice. This quote sums it up beautifully: “the standard of right and wrong can only come from one who is perfect — our creator, the almighty God” (bible tools.org) SO if our personal standards are aligned with God, with who He is, what He says about us, what He wants for His children, there can be no error in holding on to them. They are perfect. I also think it’s no coincidence that John chapter 1 begins the story of creation with this: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. See, this was Jesus. He was the Word made flesh. He is the manifested Word of God in human form! He was the ultimate standard. I’m not saying its wrong to have your own opinions or desires. Not at all! God created us with imaginations, creativity, ideas, and most importantly, free-will. It is what we choose to align our will with, however that matters. Expectations are something people have. We set them, we create them… and we get mad if others don’t meet that personal idea. Ask yourself if you were to write out what your standards are in a relationship, if those are the things that are core to your beliefs and what God says about you? Then ask yourself what your expectations are. I’m not saying its wrong to have them. Of course we do! We are human! But what my hope is today, is that you’ll stop long enough to hold firmly to the standard God gives us as a guide to live by. That standard will protect you from mess and mistakes. Not all of them… but certainly ones God specifically identifies in His word. Expectations are negotiable and can allow space for compromise. After all, healthy relationships must do so to grow together! However, if you’ve looked made your list of STANDARD core values and someone is unable or unwilling to meet them… it may be time to reevaluate that relationship.
3/18/20249 minutes, 30 seconds
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Episode 81: When Passion Strikes - A Conversation with John R Miles

John Miles is a global keynote speaker, bestselling author, the host of the critically acclaimed and top rated podcast, "Passion Struck". John R. Miles brings to the table a distinguished 30-year career that spans across military leadership, entrepreneurship, global business and technology operations, life coaching, and strategic innovation. His leadership foundation was laid at the United States Naval Academy, marked by distinction as a Division 1 athlete, class secretary, and brigade honor staff member during a significant chapter of the academy’s history. His approach embodies the rigor of his naval training, enriched with a deep understanding of business dynamics and personal growth, guiding both individuals and corporations towards unparalleled success.
3/11/202450 minutes, 36 seconds
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Episode 80: A New Name & A New Assignment

I don’t know about you, but as a mom, I understand that names are SO important. It’s funny, too because when you start having babies and you work on your ‘names’ list, you will always eliminate the ones you personally know. Like if you went to school with someone with that name or even had a bad run-in with someone with that name. It’s off the table. There are other names you may like..but then you look up the meaning. (This is where I confess that I’m a huge advocate of knowing what a name means). Honestly, there have been some I’ve been sad about once I looked up the meaning..because the name was cute but the meaning was not so cute!  Remember how much I talk about the power of words? Life and death is in the tongue. The words we speak are either life giving or deadly. That same principle applies to a name. So, if for instance, you’re wanting to name your child something and the meaning is negative… I would avoid it. Think about it, you’re calling that child by name every day of their life. Essentially, prophesying over them. Hannah means ‘Grace’ and my husband’s name, Shay, means ‘a gift’ (usually offered in homage). All good things (thankfully)!  Anyway, you may be wondering why I’m rambling on about names. Well, I do have a point. It is actually a pretty common theme in the Bible for people to be ‘renamed’. This either happens after an encounter with the Lord.. or when they are put on assignment. So anytime someone is given a new name in the Bible, just know that it is indicative of a major life change. Sometimes, it feels like thats even what it would take in our own lives. A major change. A fresh start. An encounter or an assignment. Today, I want to share the story of a man in the Bible who’s life was radically transformed. He was made new. Redeemed. Forgiven. Renamed. And set on assignment. This man’s name was Saul. I’ll begin reading in Acts 9: 1-22 Another translation says He will cast our sins into the sea of forgetfulness. Meaning, once we ask for forgiveness, God will throw away our sin and never remember them again. Don’t make the mistake of thinking God holds your past over your head. You are a new man. And you are called on assignment, friends.  Just remember Paul. He went from hunting down Christ followers and murdering them, to becoming one of them. And leading countless into God’s kingdom for the remainder of his new life.  And today, I just wanted to end with this last quote from someone unknown: “The apostle Paul entered heaven to the cheers of those he martyred because thats how the gospel works.” How powerful is that? THAT is the redemptive picture of the gospel. May this be a reminder to ask God for a new name. A new assignment. And chase it with the boldness of one who has a clean slate. For the kingdom. I love y’all.. I hope this has been the reminder you needed today and that your week is beautiful.
3/4/202410 minutes, 55 seconds
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Episode 79: His Will > My Will

It’s safe to say we have all experienced the hills and valleys of life. Some hills are higher than others just like some valleys are deeper. One of those deep places, for me, was over ten years ago. I’ll set the scene a bit… In January of 2013, I won the title of Miss Arkansa USA. While the accomplishment itself was a high point, it was mixed with a complicated backdrop. For months leading up to the competition, I had been trying to extricate myself from a years-long abusive relationship. Once I won the title, the grip there only got tighter. I worked hard to disentangle from it though, eventually able to give my full focus to my new job for the year.  So fast forward towards the end of my year as Miss Arkansas. I actually ended up dating a really fun, really good guy. After years in a controlling, toxic relationship, it was a BREATH of fresh air. I went from feeling like I lived under someones thumb to finally feeling like I was in a ‘normal’ happy relationship. Like the kind all my other girlfriends were in! As you can imagine, I was heartbroken when he decided to break it off. Now, mind you, I was also really thankful for his honesty. Like I said, he was a good guy and he did the right thing. In fact, the whole time we were dating, my only prayer had been “I want YOUR WILL GOD, and not my own.” I seriously remember walking or working out daily with that one prayer on repeat as I power walked the trails or lifted at the gym. So, when he ended it, I knew it was right. As sad as I was. I also knew I had peace because I had been asking God’s will over my own. And so it had to be. To this day, I still think of this as one of my loneliest valleys. Single, alone, broken, and totally dependent on God. In fact,  I would walk and pray. I would pour over a handful of promises in psalms. At this point in my life, I read the Bible but I wasn’t in the Word every day except in hard moments. And that same prayer was still in the background on repeat…God, YOUR WILL. Not my own.  It was like I innately knew that the guidepost to my life had shifted because, for the first time ever… I surrendered fully my life to God’s plan for me. I knew He had one. I read the Bible and went to church. But it wasn’t until I had to come to the end of myself and trying my own way..that I finally surrendered it over. That prayer, “I want YOUR WILL, GOD. Not my own.” I meant it with all my heart. I began praying it after that horrible relationship. I began praying it because I knew I was the one who got myself into that mess and moving forward I genuinely wanted God to take the reins. I prayed it through the ‘happy relationship’ even knowing it could end in heartbreak. And it did. But I never let that prayer go. I STILL KNEW. I STILL BELIEVED God’s will for my life was better than one I could achieve on my own.  I feel like y’all probably know the rest of the story… the part where Shay and I meet. I was deeply settled into my single girl, me-and-jesus and nobody else season. I loved it. I didn’t want to leave the peace of living in His will.. But, as it turns out, Shay was part of that good and perfect plan. I’m so thankful I held onto that prayer. I’m so thankful I surrendered my own will for my life in my early 20’s. I’m so glad I didn’t fight it. Or harden my heart. Or search for my value in another relationship. I’m SO glad in those dark days, I surrendered it all to find freedom and worth and identity in just being God’s daughter. God’s will was better than my own and His will is better than yours, too. God’s word is true. Once you surrender it all to Him, you’ll find peace. Peace beyond understanding. As Ephesians so beautifully says: “the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.” And so it will. My story won’t be yours. But I promise, yours will have some mountains and valley’s too. And it will also hold opportunities for surrender. 
2/26/202412 minutes, 30 seconds
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Episode 78: Face It (Hedging Bets & Wrestling God)

Have you ever had something reallllly painful in your past you don’t like to think about? Or maybe its feelings of regret, shame, or guilt? Or maybe, its just a person or situation you’d like to forget about. But whatever it was, it was such a profound moment, you felt the only way to escape it was by running. Whether that be physically, like moving cities or states, OR simply by removing yourself from a certain place or group of people. You just… kind of ran away from it? I’ll be honest, I’ve done both. If there’s anything God has shown me in the last few years it’s that I’m really good at running and disassociating. So today’s topic is one that will take us back to the beginning of the Bible. In an attempt to read the Bible in chronological order this year, I have found myself back in Genesis and I’ve come across a story that made me think of HOW applicable it is to each of us today. This is (part of) the story of Esau and Jacob.  Here are the takeaways I get from this story: As a broken people living in a broken world, we mess up. We make mistakes. Regardless of the size and scope of the pain, we all carry something. And many of us even run. But here’s the truth. God will call us back to the point of pain, fear, or shame to FACE IT. See, God loves us so much, that He will call you back to that very thing that almost broke you. He calls you back, not to hurt you, but to heal you. We must face it in order to walk fully into what God has for our future. It takes courage, discipline, and obedience. But do you know what the reward is? It is healing and freedom. We must face it to receive what is on the other side. The future God has for you. Your inheritance. Your peace. Your healing and your freedom.  Listen, I know I’m talking to someone today. I don’t know how long your journey has been. Maybe you’re even like Jacob, who ran for 20 years! I don’t know who or what you’re running from. But I do know that God is asking you to face it. He is waiting to take your hand and walk with you. Just like Jacob. And it doesn’t have to be a graceful thing. It just needs to be done.  See, just like us, Jacob was human. In his story, you can see how his reaction is all over the place. First, he panics! He panics at the thought of facing his brother. And then… he prays. He literally repeats back to God what He promised him. He acknowledges that God has sent him back. He even reminds God that He promised him a future! (This was the right thing to do)! WE should do the same! But then… what does he do? He takes it back into his own hands. He starts planning what HE can do. He hedges his bets by sending herd after herd of livestock as gifts. In hopes of softening his brother’s heart. As if he didn’t just take the matter to God!! But.. such is our nature. This is where the final showdown happens. Jacob wrestles with God. And in the wrestling, he held on. For a blessing. He held on because he knew God was in it and if God was in it, His word was in it, too. His word for a future. When the wrestling was over, Jacob was given a new name.  Makes me think about us. About how sometimes when we face a thing. When we waffle back and forth, hedge our bets, wrestle with God…and come out the other side.. we are new. We are changed. We may walk with a limp, but we will never forget the path that brought us back. Back into the fullness and freedom God called us to all along. If that is you today, sweet friend, I pray you’ll have the courage this year to face it. It’s okay to feel all the things. It’s okay to panic, to pray, to plan, to wrestle.. just as long as you face it. Remember, God wouldn’t call you to it, if He wouldn’t see you through it. Not just see you through it but see you healed and restored. Just as Jacob was returned to his home land and restored back to his promised inheritance. There’s an inheritance for you. Just on the other side.
2/19/202416 minutes, 13 seconds
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Episode 77: Pray THIS Prayer To See How God Will Change Your Marriage: with Erica Bankston

I’ve been wanting to sit down and do an episode about marriage and the the family unit. As someone who has looked up to this marriage, I knew that Erica was the perfect person to share her experience and heart on this. We touch on so many different topics from praying over your marriage to how society tries to tear down the beautiful thing God created. If you haven’t listened to our episode from last year together about parenting, it’s a must! Listen Here Conservative Parenting: https://open.spotify.com/episode/3mKeoyE9K0hBPOM0U1gKmF?si=GN5liviRTMuipzwvLWXiIg https://open.spotify.com/episode/5SRXsS6mbMDKBWVLiWXVIP?si=rDz2nTeSReu50pifYJVRIA
2/12/20241 hour, 5 minutes, 48 seconds
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Episode 76: Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

It’s a common sentiment and an often asked question. It is also the achilles heel of a lot of people who lost faith.  Here’s the short answer. Bad things happen to people, period. Good and bad people. Regardless of status, success, or background. Regardless of religion and despite it. Sickness doesn’t discriminate just like this sinful world doesn’t discriminate. The truth of the matter is, we live in a very broken world.  What once was a perfect garden, a veritable heaven on earth… was lost to humankind when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Adam affectively handed over his rights to darkness. God gave him the opportunity to steward a perfect world. He was actually given dominion over the works of God’s hands. But, because of disobedience, there was a great fall. We call it the fall because man fell from this perfect world into a broken one. His dominion was handed over to the one who deceived him in the first place. Satan. There are so many takeaways here but the thing I want to point to right now is this.. God gave Adam and Eve free will. He didn’t force them to do anything. He set them into a perfect place and gave them boundaries to either keep or break. See, God wants His children to come to Him because they CHOOSE to. Because they choose Him and Love Him and seek Him. It is not a forced relationship. He actually chose us before the foundations of the world. Now, it is for us to choose Him back. Every day. Over and over. By the choices we make. The world is going to hit us with brokenness. What we choose to do about it and how we choose to respond is what really matters.  Here’s the other hard to hear part. Lest we forget. The world is still very broken. Satan still roams about as a lion looking to devour whom he may. He will hit you when and where he can whenever he can. He wants to steal and kill and destroy any goodness God has promised for you. He wants to steal hope, kill dreams, and destroy futures.  I know this may not be the answer so many are looking for today… But, such is the truth. God has a plan for our lives. But we have the freedom to follow Him or not. Not only that, but the enemy is still prowling around, looking to attack. The good news today is that Jesus came to redeem us from satan’s dominion. He came to redeem humanity. To restore us back to the Father. So our spirits are now free from the sting of death. If we have accepted Jesus as our Messiah, His own spirit has replaced the old man. This means we have the same authority as Christ because of the price He paid. We have authority over the enemy. And one day… when He returns, He will also restore the earth. The broken place we live in now. The Bible tells us it will be made new. Until then, this is what we can do.  We can live our lives one step at a time being led by the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit leads us unto ALL Truth. And so… we should follow. Today, I hope you’ll remember this: God is the creator of all. And like a work of art must be imagined before it is created, God knew about you before He even began forming you in your mother’s womb. With careful consideration, He designed you. Not only your physical traits, but the unique touches of humor, creativity, sensitivity, intellect, and passions. He knew it all and He formed you. He also knew (and presently knows) the story arc of your life. In fact, He’s laid out a dotted line map, just for you. If only you have the courage to pursue Him and his leading. If only you are able to surrender the missed turns and wreckage of a sinful world. Theres a one of a kind story waiting to be revealed. A picture of a life well lived. Your map is a testament to the freedom of choosing God. I love y’all. I hope this has been an encouragement today that while storms still arise, we aren’t in them alone. And with every misstep, there is grace for hearts turned back to Him. 
2/5/202415 minutes, 34 seconds
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Episode 75: Offended, Bitter And Jaded : Where Do We Go From Here?

A year or two back, we had this woman come up to the door of our house. She had a notepad, a three ring binder, and a pitch. She had obviously been walking door to door. The general idea was that a certain non-profit was supplying fresh local produce to the underserved communities in the area. The business plan made sense and I was also aware of the great needs of our town in that regard. The way the model worked was by buying produce in bulk. There were three levels of “giving” and the BIG observation for me was the notepad she had that was full of signatures from my neighbors (several of whose names I recognized). I visited with the woman, listening to her story and even got to share about my podcast. It was a lengthy exchange. I bought a package and shared some final words of encouragement before she left.  The following day, there was a post on a local neighborhood app that was alerting folks about this scam. My heart sank as I saw the name and a screenshot of the ‘company’s website’. I had been taken advantage of. My immediate response was embarrassment, but after I called and had the payment cancelled I remember talking to my husband and saying, with all my heart… You know? I would have given her the money. If I had known that she was struggling.. If she had been honest and genuine.. I would have given her that money. It made me sad. She had obviously been working with others who had dropped her and her companion on our street. The need was evident. And it just made me so so sad.  But what if… What if Jesus had hardened His heart? What if, after all the mocking, the ridicule, the rejection… what if after all that He endured, He turned and walked away. Because of a hard heart. You know He had every opportunity. (If you need a reminder, just go back and listen to episode number 26 on Rejection)! You’ve got to step out of yourself and treat that person the way God himself would treat you. With kindness, compassion… and with grace. I’m not going to sugar coat it, its anything but natural. Truly, it is dying to yourself. Dying to the old man. You, as a Child of God and a co-heir with Jesus are made NEW. The price was paid for you. For your sin. For your shame, your mistakes, your failures and all of your iniquities. They were paid for with the blood of Jesus. You are redeemed and made a new man. That new man must then begin to respond according to the SPIRIT of God residing inside rather than responding with the mind or feelings of the old man. This is the act of sanctification. This is a part of the steady transformation to become more like Christ. To bring Heaven to Earth. To make Earth as it is in Heaven!  And I will end with this: because I think it’s a beautiful promise that God attaches, not only to wisdom, but also to acting according to His word: Proverbs 19:11 It means you, in your born again life, are able to display a bright and pure piece of God’s glory. He is made known in the situation… He is made known and that blesses whoever witnesses AND it blesses whoever acted in obedience to His word. Now that is a heck of a promise. Today, I just want to share this encouragement with each of you. Don’t allow the enemy to come in and make you bitter. Don’t allow the enemy to plant seeds of offense. Instead, live out the most shocking and unexpected truths. Love them. Pray for them. And watch, as God transforms your heart and your life because you chose to Honor HIM above your own feelings. When a hard heart is softened, God is able to come in and heal. And the fruit of that will reach far beyond you. I love y’all. I hope this message finds you right where you are today. God will be in it. He’ll work through you and change the lives of all who see.. 
1/29/202413 minutes, 10 seconds
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Episode 74: Are You Your Issue?

Have you ever noticed that the first thing people ask at a social event is “So, where are you from?” Followed up with a “What do you do?”.  It’s interesting to me because even on social media pages, our Bio’s declare the same. Where we are from. What we do. A few words to sum up our whole existence. But what if… just what if those very descriptions are the ones we’ve been using to identify who we are? Titles. Jobs. Throw in a location for context. But what if we’ve had it all wrong. If that’s the first thing we are saying about ourselves, that must also mean its the FIRST thing we believe about who we are. It must mean that thats our identity! Right? Wrong. The thing is, we are doing ourselves a disservice if that’s the thing we are choosing to stand on. Identity isn’t what you do or even who you are to anyone else. Actually. Our true identity is that which relates us to our creator. It’s foundational. It should be the thing we respond with as we know it deep down. If God Himself asked you who you are, what would you tell Him? Would you say something like, “Well, I’m Sharon and I’m project coordinator at so and so offices…” I mean, I’m laughing but I sure hope you’ve got more in you than that! If we asked our own children…who are you to me? I would hope they’d respond with “I’m your child”. So? Shouldn’t that be our first response, too? God calls us His. And while we may call ourselves ‘God’s children’ Sunday at church, the majority of people aren’t out here living like it. MOST people live by their professional title for the rest of the week. Others of us may not even go by the title we give ourselves but the title given to us by the world. Known by your story. Known by your past. Known by your shame, sickness, sins, or even by your situation. Maybe whatever life you’ve lived has become the thing to defines you.  I believe this is the number one mistake believers make in understanding their identity. Instead of referring to what God’s word says about them, they’ve spent a lifetime listening to OTHERS about who they should or shouldn’t be. And at some point, most of us have come INTO agreement about whatever that is. Think about school? If you didn’t play sports, were you really an outcast? Or did you just start believing that about yourself because thats what the social scene dictated? Maybe God would have liked to remind you that you were actually built different. Built to be set apart. Built with different interests and giftings to reach a purpose God crafted specifically for YOU.  See, I’ve come to realize we can’t walk fully in our God given authority unless we recognize ourselves the way God recognizes us. Not by who WE say we are. Not by who the world says we are. But by who God says we are. We can walk fully in all He desires for us if we understand our identity. If we understand our relationship to the King. If your father is the king, what does that make you? An heir. It makes you an heir. You’re an heir to His kingdom. A daughter who is loved. AND a daughter who is called to a life of more.  Today, I want to read a story to you about a woman who perfectly fits the description of someone who went by her worldly identity. She is a woman in the Bible who is never mentioned by name. She isn’t even mentioned by a title she holds. Rather, she is identified by the issue she has. Mark 5:21-43 TPT Today, I want to challenge you to ask yourself the question: What have I been standing on? What identity have I been living by? Is it an identity given by the world? Is it status based on things I own? Is it the circles I am a part of? Or is it even a condemning name given by circumstances of a broken world? Whatever it is. Whoever you think you are.. I want to remind you you’re none of those things. God calls you His Child first. Hold fast to that and be encouraged that life WILL look different when you understand your born identity. I love you, friends. And God loves you most of all… I’ll see you back here next week!
1/22/202410 minutes, 13 seconds
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Episode 73: Life Balance: Faith, Family, and Career with Shay Mooney

Episode 73: New Year Priorities: A Conversation with Shay Mooney
 Well guys, we’re back!! And by we I mean my best friend and husband, Shay Mooney! I had originally planned to record a few family conversations at the top of the new year (and we still will), but our family trip was postponed. Luckily, however, this left the perfect opportunity to sit down for another catch up with the person I do life with! In this episode, we dive into some awesome ways to begin the new year (not only as a married couple but also as parents)! Trust me when I tell you this is a rich conversation you won’t want to miss.. We touch on how we balance family + career, takeaways from 2023, AND we discuss the busy year ahead. If you want to be encouraged in your marriage, or simply need some perspective on how to balance a busy life in the new year, this episode is for you!
1/15/20241 hour, 1 minute, 9 seconds
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Episode 72 : A Dummies Guide To Setting Boundaries

As we begin our trek into the new year, I thought it could be helpful to do an episode on something that is REALLY hard for a lot of people: Boundaries. As a peace-loving 9 on the enneagram, this is actually one of the hardest things for me to practice. If I have any fellow peace-keepers or people-pleasers out there, you’ll understand. Boundaries are a type of discipline that can have the tendency to feel selfish if practiced for your own sake. If you’re like me, you may have NO problem pointing out the need for boundaries - for other people. But struggle for yourself. But. What if I told you God actually gave us something to live by? Because…He did. Today, I wanted to look at the Bible as a guide to healthy boundaries and wise choices. After all, the Bible is the key to all of life’s principles. So, it stands to reason that God would have a few things to say about this.. Now, you may be thinking “I don’t remember a commandment about personal boundaries..” BUT I actually beg to differ. You know why? Because a boundary is just another name for a “Limit”, “Border”, or even a “Perimeter”. They are in place for a reason. They protect our own hearts, they protect the hearts of others, and ultimately, when adhered to, they SHOULD help create a healthy community for all. The ten commandments are actually the FIRST set of such boundaries. I would even consider them the pillars to live by. They are the main guideposts of life and even if they were the only laws or principles to live by, they would be enough. But God is so good and left THE most detailed help-guide (if we so choose to pursue it).  Seriously, Proverbs is chock FULL of the most practical life principles. Some are so simple. Some are deep. And some are really encouraging… and honestly, some are very convicting. It is a collection  inspired by the Holy Spirit and written by the wisest man who ever lived (King Solomon). And while these chapters are generally full of LIFE PRINCIPLES to live by, for the sake of today’s episode, I also want you to consider them boundaries YOU can apply in your own life. Whether these be personal boundaries, relational boundaries, business boundaries, or even boundaries that create strength of character. Each and every line in the book of Proverbs is applicable to life today. That I can promise. One of the things I love most about Proverbs (aside from its practical nature) is the fact that almost every boundary or principle listed is followed up with a promise to go with it. Promises for whichever decision you make. For the good or for the bad. From friendships to neighbors, to business, to marriage, to parenting, and even to legal practices. This book holds boundaries for all of life. A veritable Book For Dummies! I’m not offended. Just thankful God knew we would need a play book for life!  Listen, this may all sound dull to you today. But, as the days and weeks go on, my prayer for you is that you’ll remember today’s episode. Remember WHERE to go when searching for wisdom in life matters. Likely as not, a lot of answers can be found in these 31 chapters. It isn’t a hard read. It doesn’t even take that long. But, I want to encourage you with this. The next time you find yourself in a situation feeling like you don’t know what to do.. comb through the book of Proverbs. It could be an argument with a friend, a business decision, a question about marriage or parenting.. It could even be as simple as how to find true peace. I just bet God has a word in there for you. Be it encouraging or convicting. Chances are good that He left us with a principle or boundary to apply. Today’s episode hasn’t be a firey one by any means, but I do hope it will be the guide you need as you navigate the weeks ahead. May it lead you into wisdom. May you glean reassurance and encouragement from the pages in Proverbs. A Dummies Guide to Setting Boundaries. 
1/8/20248 minutes, 51 seconds
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Episode 71: It's 2024 - What REALLY Matter To You?

Happy New Year, friends, and WELCOME to 2024! Well I wanted to do something to kick start us in the right direction. Today, I wanted to give you all a chance to pause and evaluate what really matters to you. It’s a new year so it’s the perfect time to stop and take stock of our lives. The truth is, sometimes we know what’s important to us, but its not really evidenced by our actions…ya know what I mean? It’s one thing to say it but its another to put action behind it. We are going into a new year here so lets fix that. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I value my relationship with God. But. Is it evident in my life? It’s supposed to be the #1 thing above all else, right? But…am I hearing His voice? Do I feel close to Him? Because if not… it’s because I’m missing something on my end. God is always there. He has never left my side.. So, what can I do to go deeper. What can I do going into this year to hear His voice not just more clearly but more often. That’s my goal for the year; and hopefully, yours too! 1. Make time and space for God. 2. Worship music 3. Give thanks 4. Read the Word 5. Unplug Today, I’m praying for each of you to figure out what really matters. Figure it out and then act like it. Make the exchange. Spend your time and energy in pursuit of Him. I’ll end with this sweet reminder. In church last week, our pastor said “Worship directs the adoration of our hearts, and what we love changes us.” So guys. Think about what you really love in this life. As the year begins, I challenge you to pursue THAT. Pursue Him. And watch as He changes not only your life but the lives of everyone around you.. Today, I’m praying for what really matters in your live. And the courage to chase it. I love y’all and I’ll see you next week! 🤍✨
1/1/202417 minutes, 21 seconds
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Episode 70: The Christmas Story - Little Details & Great Reminders

I think its easy for us to recount the story of Jesus’ birth…kinda like we would any classic movie that the whole world knows about. But, in a way, I feel like so much of the awe and wonder is stripped away BECAUSE OF the familiarity we have with this story. If we take time to really stop and think about the details, it’s all pretty wild. CAN YOU IMAGINE?! Mary was likely a teenager. Engaged to Joseph. She had some serious explaining to do. Thank heavens God sent an angel to Joseph as well to confirm this miracle! Regardless… I think often of Mary’s situation. The fear of the unknown must have been staggering. Yet, this young woman said “yes”. In fact, she said more than just a simple yes. Let me read in Luke 1 vs 26-38 to give you the full picture. (This is the perfect place to pick up, too, since we just talked about John the Baptist and his mother, Elizabeth’s miraculous conception… Mary’s story picks up during the time of Elizabeth’s pregnancy! Remember, she’s Mary’s relative.) So here we go: And here’s the thing. Mary’s yes was just the beginning of the story. Luke 2:1-7 says: Now see? We don’t get all that in the typical Christmas story, do we? I truly believe if we took more time to examine the details, we’d be blown away at all of God’s handiwork. He is SO intentional. He’s so in the details. And I know I know… I didn’t touch on all the parts of the Christmas story today.. parts about King Herod and the Wise men. Parts about the star leading the way. Parts about gifts and dreams and prophecies.. But today, I wanted to take time to point to some of the smaller details. Today, I wanted to say that God see our heart posture. God blesses our obedience. Just like He knew Mary’s heart, He saw her obedience, and he blessed her because of it. He CHOSE HER FOR IT!! And here’s the other reminder: God reveals Himself in ways that are meaningful to US. Uniquely and specifically. Just like He did to the shepherds. Listen. God can reveal Himself to you. In dreams, visions, through other people… God works in unexpected ways. Heck, its the whole message behind this podcast! If he did it for those in the Bible, what makes you think He can’t do it for you, too? Maybe you won’t get an angelic appearance (and maybe you will…who am I to say you won’t?!) But you will always get an answer if you ask Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you. You’ll always get an answer if you have eyes to see and ears to hear, and a heart that will recognize God’s voice. This whole story may feel a little muddled to you today, but I pray that you’ll walk away remembering that God is looking at your heart posture. God wants your obedience so he can BLESS YOUR LIFE, and God can and will reveal Himself to you in a way that is special to YOU… if you ask Him to. Today, I thank God for sending His precious son. I’m thankful for the courageous “yes” of a teenage girl. The obedient heart of her fiancé to act in good faith. And mostly, I’m thankful for the life Christ came and lived. All so he could die for the sin of the world. All so that we may have hope. And as the angels sang.. “Glory to God in the highest realms of heaven! For there is peace and a good hope given to the sons of men.” That hope is here now. That peace is available to all today. Let this year’s Christmas story be one of little details and great reminders to say Yes to God…and be listening for His voice. May your Christmas be full of peace and joy and hope… of the goodness ahead. I love y’all. Merry Christmas and I’ll catch you in the new year…
12/25/202314 minutes, 30 seconds
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Episode 69: The Beauty In Balance & Purpose - A Conversation with Gabby Barrett

Today I’m so thrilled to be sitting down with my sweet friend, Gabby Barrett! She is a Multi- Platinum artist, dedicated wife and mother to almost 3! Join us as we talk about her journey of faith, how she met her husband, and how she navigates her career as a new mom. Today’s convo is full of beautiful perspective on balance and purpose. You’ll be blessed by the listen!
12/18/202342 minutes, 37 seconds
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Episode 68: All The Things! Q&A with Hannah

Excited to be sitting down with Livy to do a little Q&A today! We covered a lot of different topics on this episode. We answered questions about studying scripture, raising kids, and being married into the entertainment industry. I love being able to be more candid with you guys, so thank you to anyone who submitted a question! Listen to Episode 13 & 14 for the story all about how Shay and I met.
12/11/202326 minutes, 47 seconds
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Episode 67: The Truth Of Being Set Apart (The Story of John the Baptist)

As we barrel head first into December and all that comes with it, I wanted to backtrack to the moments in the Bible leading up to Jesus’ appearance. I’m talking about John the Baptist. I posted a short clip a week or so back about how underrated the life of John is. I think its important to understand some background of this man and his role in preparing the way for Jesus’ entry into the world! Let me begin by reading in Luke 1 about the miraculous conception of John. So, you see, John and Jesus’ births not only overlap but they are parallel in the fact that both are miraculous! Talk about unexpected!  From the very moments since birth, John was prophesied over and raised KNOWING it was he who would fulfill prophecy as the one to usher in the new Testament. This is significant for many reasons: One, John is the first prophetic voice to rise up in 400 years. His birth is not only the fullfillment of prophecy but it will also become the link between the old and new testament. See, up until this very moment, the people of Israel have been practicing under the old testament law given to Moses after the great exodus out of Egypt. Under this old covenant, the people must make sacrifices and perform rituals, using appointed priests to make atonements to God on their behalf.  First is this: John was set apart. He knew he was set apart since birth. He didn’t run or rebel from the idea of this; indeed, he set the course of his life on a path that HONORED this great commissioning. Guys. He literally chose to live in the wilderness. Many of the gospels document his life and share that not only did he choose to separate himself from the world but he also forsook comforts. Not only was John sure of who he was, not only did John know the role he was to play, but he was the forerunner to the salvation of the world. He laid his own comfort, he laid down opportunities for community and fellowship, and instead he boldly preached against the world. He called out religious hypocrites. And risked looking like an actual crazy person to prepare the way. It’s why he was born! He never wavered from his role.  And he could have. By the time Jesus enters the scene in his adult years, John had built up quite a name and following. He had his own disciples. As Jesus approaches while John is baptizing people in the Jordan River, John’s own disciples point and say who is that? John says, “ Behold, the Lamb of God!!” And his disciples left him to follow Jesus. Do you know what John didn’t do? He didn’t make it about himself. He didn’t ask his disciples to come back and follow him. Why? Because that’s not why he came. He knew his role. He knew his ministry. And his ministry wasn’t about himself, but rather, about pointing the world to the Messiah.  Oh, what a stunning picture of hope. Doesn’t God do fine work using the unexpected? He uses barren women to have prophet sons who live set apart. Wild (and some may even say a bit crazy). But the truth is, John wasn’t crazy. He was a man who knew his role and never strayed from it. He lead the way. He becomes a link in history to the most important moments since or ever again. He users in the hope of the world. As we enter into the holiday season, my prayer is that each of you will remember, too, that God loves to use the unexpected. And in fact, He has always called you. He chose you before the beginning of time to live where you live, in the family you’re in, in the city you reside, with the gifts and skills you have… to live with purpose. You know, deep down, He did. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll all be brave enough to live set apart like John to point the way to Jesus. Lord knows the world needs hope. And the truth is… we have it. In Jesus.  Thank you to our sponsor! ⁠⁠⁠⁠NIV Journal the Word Bible⁠ ⁠⁠⁠published by Zondervan. Visit your local Christian bookstore or⁠⁠ journaltheword.com⁠⁠ to find a beautiful edition!
12/4/202314 minutes, 48 seconds
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Episode 66: Are We Living In Biblical Times?

As surprising as this may sound to some people, the Bible is just as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. In some cases, maybe even more so. You have to think - part of the Bible is prophecy, meaning things to come. So a lot of it is geared towards a future time.. but future for them is present-day for us!  Today, I want to share a story that jumped out at me this year while studying the Paul and reading of his journey to spread God’s word to all the nations. Truly after Jesus’ death, a majority of the new testament is the story of the birth of the Church. One day, I’d love to chronicle the life of Paul on his mission to share the Gospel, but until then, I will pull out a piece or two.  I know its a long way around saying it, but this whole scene sounds like a modern day moment to me! Listen to what these guys said: "You know that our prosperous livelihood is being threatened by this Paul, who is persuading crowds of people to turn away from our gods. We make a good living by doing what we do…Our businesses are in danger of being discredited”! Sound familiar? I don’t know about you but this makes me think of a lot of things… the local authorities of the day sound a lot like politicians and the business men sound a lot like the money-men of..you guessed it…present day. I feel like it is becoming increasingly apparent today that the life and values of christianity is being viewed as a threat to those in power positions. I mean.. it may have been thousands of years ago, but the Bible is alive and well. The principles and lessons are timeless. Money is still king in the eyes of the world and idol worship is still alive, too. Though it comes packaged differently.. Today, these idols and (lower case) gods are sold as entertainment, celebrity status, and global ‘causes’. Where agendas are pushed at the expense of what is real and true and good. Global warming. Big pharma. Gender Ideology. Government controlled education… and the list goes on. Sounds to me like a lot of junk being pushed by the people profiting from whatever idol they are pedaling.  And here’s the deal. As powerful as these people are… politicians and big businesses alike — they are all threatened by the INTEGRITY of choices of those lives turning to Christ. You can see it all over cancel culture. Which voices get cancelled? The ones speaking God’s truth… not the ones standing saying “This is my truth”. Because truth isn’t subjective to one person or another. Truth is what God says it is. How many celebrities have been dragged through the mud for sticking to their convictions? How many Christian films and books and shows have been suppressed or deleted? Heck, the day I put up my YouTube channel, it got pulled down. I can only imagine why….  I promise I didn’t come to ruffle feathers today. But.. I did come to encourage. The Bible doesn’t just mention stories casually for no reason. The years have changed but satan’s tactics are still the same. May that be your motivation today. He’s still using his same old trick and yet, the ending will never change. Our God wins. So may we carry on fighting the good fight. Know that, just as in Pauls day, there will be those in power threatened by the very things you stand for. Let it be so. Because we know who’s we are and who we answer to at the end of the day. And it’s not those people. It’s our Father who formed us in his own image. Today, I pray each of you are emboldened to keep standing firm and sharing the good news, its the only news that brings hope and a future to a dark and hopeless world. I love y’all, and I’ll see you back again next week!  Thank you to our sponsor! ⁠⁠⁠NIV Journal the Word Bible⁠ ⁠⁠published by Zondervan. Visit your local Christian bookstore or⁠⁠ journaltheword.com⁠⁠ to find a beautiful edition!
11/27/202312 minutes, 10 seconds
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Episode 65: A Conversation with Farrell Mason

Hi friends! I’m excited to be sitting down with Farrell Mason today! Farrell Mason is a mother of six children, an ordained minister, a writer, and the host of Soulful 7 Conversations podcast.  Farrell holds a master of art and business from The University of Manchester, England, and a master of divinity with a concentration in theology and the arts from Vanderbilt University. She is a part-time ordained minister of pastoral care at Woodmont Christian Church in Nashville and her heart is forever committed to raising funds and awareness for kids with cancer in honor of her son. Farrell’s most recent work is called Soulful: a weekly devotional to nourish the mind, body, and spirit. I this book (and all of her writing) you will find a thread of hope, healing, and redemption! We will be doing a giveaway of a copy of Farrell’s book SoulFull!
11/20/202344 minutes, 22 seconds
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Episode 64: Surface Level

I saw a quote the other day that said, "Jesus died for you in public. Don't live for Him in private." And I'll tell you something... that's powerful. Honestly doubt many people think to themselves "I live a private life for Christ." But do you know what it DOES make me think of? It makes me think of the surface level lives people lead. And the truth is, it's kind of the same thing. Surface level relationships, conversations, and even posts. Sure, they may actually be easier. They may feel safer. They certainly take less time. And they may even cause less stress...But I have to ask? Who is that benefiting? Listen, I didn't come here today to make anyone feel guilty for not standing on the rooftops shouting about Jesus. I just came here to encourage you to take your moment. Take your moment when it presents itself. Be bold in the small things. Share your testimony with your uber driver. Ask how you can pray for the cashier checking you out. Look that homeless person in the eye when you hand them a water or a meal and tell them God sees them and you see them. Tell them they are loved. Just do the thing in front of you. Do it with intention. It's not so big or scary or intimidating. What could you possibly lose by doing any of these things? Jesus being intentional about the needs in front of Him. The brokenness before Him. The people around Him. Can you imagine if Jesus chose to be surface level with people? Can you imagine if Jesus only posted what looked good to His followers? I mean I'm sure turning water into wine would have made for an amazing post. But what about the other stuff? The stuff less worthy of a photograph? The humble moments or the messy ones? What about the times Jesus loved enough to correct? What about the times He confronted the enemy? What about the times He upset the local authorities by following God's principles rather than mans? How affective could he have possible been by living surface level. I know its a lot of what if's today... But just think: What if Jesus had only thanked Martha for hosting rather than telling her that Mary was in the right for sitting at His feet? What if Jesus waved to the fishermen while walking by but never told them to cast their nets on the other side? What if Jesus only allowed people to serve Him rather than serving others? What if Jesus passed up the sick to get to where He was going? What if Jesus had only chatted with the woman at the well about the weather, instead of sharing the depth of who He was and the hope of eternal life? Guys. He was the model for us. In all of it. Why shouldn't WE be sharing who WE are? Brothers and Sisters of Christ. Children of God. And the hope that Jesus brought to the world? Shouldn't we be sharing about how we are who we are because of Who Jesus is and what HE did for us. About how our lives are what they are now because of the hope He offers. That the love, joy, peace... its all fruit of our lives lived honoring Him. I find it such a shame that surface level is SO often what we get today instead of time and intentionality. We live in an instant gratification world where we scroll (on average every 7 seconds per reel) going from one hit of endorphins to the next. Not only is it exhausting, but it's void of depth. Can I tell you a secret? You can't go deep if you don't take time. Roots aren't strong without it. Connection can't happen without it. Faith can't grow without it. Depth. You can't go deep if you don't take the time. Go deeper than surface level. With people. With the world. Yes, it can be intimidating to live outwardly. It opens you up to rejection and hurt. But Jesus did it. And if He did it, shouldn't we? So, today, 'll end, again, with this reminder... "Jesus died for you in public. So don't live for Him in private." Thank you to our sponsor! ⁠⁠NIV Journal the Word Bible⁠ ⁠published by Zondervan. Visit your local Christian bookstore or⁠⁠ journaltheword.com⁠⁠ to find a beautiful edition!
11/13/20238 minutes, 25 seconds
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Episode 63: Was Blind But Now...I See

When I was in the second grade, I went to the eye doctor. I remember him telling me I needed glasses. By my best guess I was around 7 or 8 years old. When my glasses arrived, I remember walking outside and looking down... Do you know the kind of sidewalk that’s really just made of like..brown pea-gravel stuck into concrete? Well. That’s what I saw. And it wasn’t just a brown blob. I could see the individual gravels and I just couldn’t believe it. Then I looked up. And I said, “Look mom! Look at the leaves!”. I guess I had never realized you could see individual leaves on a tree from afar. For me, they’d always been big green blobs. The funny part about all of this is that I really had no idea I was so blind! I’ll have to get a confirmation on this but I’m pretty sure my mom teared up because she didn’t know my vision was so bad, either. I’m sure I never complained and, up to that point, I had nothing to complain about. After all, it was all I knew! And that’s the thing about it isn’t it?... We only know what we know! Our only frame of reference for ANYTHING (especially in childhood) is experience. We can only understand the life we have known. It is only as we get older and begin growing that we learn to work from a place of empathy or understanding outside of ourselves. I’m certain I could dig really deep and find a Biblical reference to parallel this story but to be honest with you there’s an obvious one that comes to mind... The story of Jesus healing the blind man. Its such a brief moment in the life of Jesus but we see so much in it..no pun intended! What’s interesting is the word used for eyes here is not the common word for it..instead, the greek word ‘omma’ can refer to both physical and spiritual sight. That’s what Jesus does for us. He covers us so that we may see...both physically AND spiritually. But we must allow Him to. The man in this story (with the help of friends to guide him) sought out Jesus. He asked for His touch. And he asked for healing. He had faith for it. Friends, this is a lesson to us all. God wants to be sought after. God wants to touch us and heal us. But we must come to Him. We must ask. And...we MUST allow his Healing hand over our lives. Both physically and spiritually. Sometimes God does His work little by little. Sometimes, His healing takes more than one pass through. What if that blind man had said, well... I can KIND of see a little now, and that is better than total blindness... He would have missed out on SO much more! Jesus came that we may have life and have it to the FULL! (John 10:10). Not so that we may live partially healed! So here is my reminder today, sweet friends: seek Him. Ask. Allow His touch. And know that, like this blind man.. it may take more than one pass. Know that God works on His own timeline. As we go into this season of thanksgiving I pray we all have this perspective. Clarity doesn’t always come at once. Answers don’t always come immediately. Healing can come little by little. Jesus can open your eyes how He wants to, in His time, and for His reasons. He knows what we couldn’t possibly know. He knows the exact healing process to take us through, painful as it may be. He knows the perspective shift we have to experience. And ultimately, He knows the restoration God has for us. Jesus touched that blind man’s eyes. And Jesus can touch your life, too, to bring healing... After all..that’s why He came. Thank you to our sponsor! ⁠⁠NIV Journal the Word Bible⁠ ⁠published by Zondervan. Visit your local Christian bookstore or⁠⁠ journaltheword.com⁠⁠ to find a beautiful edition!
11/6/20238 minutes, 13 seconds
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Episode 62: The Life Of David - Redeemed

Over the years, I’ve come to realize any lesson we learn from parenting can be viewed through the lens of God. He is, after all, our Heavenly Father, and we are His children. So if we want the best for our children then how much MORE does God love US and want the best for US? The same principles apply. God wants us to come to Him with our mistakes. He wants all of our mess-ups and weaknesses. See, if we take it to Him first, there is redemption. Yes, there will be natural consequences. But when you take it to God first, you take AWAY the world’s ability to turn those moments into shame or guilt or threat of revealing ‘the truth’. You take away the world’s ability to keep feeding lies about who you think you are, now.. a failure. Unworthy. Those are lies. The truth of the world will always be ugly. But the truth, in God’s hands, will be beautiful in the light of redemption. God doesn't speak ill of His children. God already knows the truth. And He has already done the work to free us from it. The truth will set you free. This is where redemption is born. Born from the Grace of God to forgive. His son, Jesus, paid the price to redeeming our stories and ultimately, our lives.  Redemption was what God had for David’s life as well. In the wake of serious sin, he was forgiven. Though there was still a price to be paid. In the last episode we mentioned the curse that “the sword would never depart from David’s house”…And, God said, ”Out of your own household I am going to brink calamity on you”. The many chapters that follow depict a series of events that unfold in the house of David. His sons turn against him and against each other.  There is scheming and corruption. David flees his own son Absalom. There is bloodshed and grief. Eventually, however, David returns to Jerusalem after running from the chaos of his household. This is where we pick up: 1 Kings 1. Not only does God go on to allow David’s son, Solomon to establish and rule a strong kingdom, but He also allows him to be the the one who built God’s temple. Furthermore, it is through Solomon that Jesus comes. The very same Jesus who will return again to establish His kingdom here on earth forever! WHAT a legacy. Isn’t that something? That God can take a man who came from such humble beginnings, who strayed into sin and committed murder and adultery… That God could choose such a man and make him part of the lineage of Jesus? That is such a picture of redemption. Reclaimed, rescued, saved or delivered. Those are all words for one who is redeemed. And that’s exactly what David was. Not only David, but truly, all of mankind. It is through Jesus that we are ALL offered salvation.  David’s life went from being anointed and being prepared, to running and then being appointed! He then fell from grace and ultimately he was redeemed. It’s a story arc that can look a lot like our own lives. In great detail, David’s life is documented. We can learn so much from it. We can see why heart posture is important. But most amazingly, we can see what redemption is offered by our good good Father.  He has that for anyone who asks for it. Today, I pray you’ll be encouraged by the life of David. By the highs and lows. By the twists and turns and the unexpected. Today, I pray you’ll remember God sees your heart. He knows the road you’re on. He offers redemption for the falls, and He offers blessing for the moments you say “yes” to Him.  Thank you to our sponsor! ⁠NIV Journal the Word Bible⁠ published by Zondervan. Visit your local Christian bookstore or⁠⁠ journaltheword.com⁠⁠ to find a beautiful edition!
10/30/202312 minutes, 28 seconds
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Episode 61: Interview with Jenny Marrs

I’ve been so excited for this upcoming episode with my friend Jenny Marrs! I remember when Shay and I first saw their show Fixer to Fabulous on HGTV during the pandemic and quickly found out they are also from our home state of Arkansas!  Jenny is a wife and mama who loves all things creative. She is a talented designer and writer! A passionate advocate for community transformation, family preservation, and orphan care around the globe. Their passion for furthering locally active, globally-focused causes led to Dave and Jenny’s founding of The Berry Farm. At its simplest, the u-pick farm and its event barn allows local families to enjoy the experience of filling their own buckets with fresh, local berries and holding events in the gorgeous newly-renovated event venue. But the real mission of The Berry Farm is a domino effect rippling from Northwest Arkansas to Zimbabwe, where profits support vocational training, farming skills and food for orphaned children.  We talk all things life. How Fixer to Fabulous came to be, and so many exciting things in the works… Thank you to our sponsor! NIV Journal the Word Bible published by Zondervan. Visit your local Christian bookstore or⁠⁠ journaltheword.com⁠⁠ to find a beautiful edition!
10/23/202346 minutes, 4 seconds
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Episode 60: The Life Of David - Fall From Grace

Have you ever been in a season of life where things seem to be going really well. So well that maybe, ever so subtly, you start to drift? You left the world of contentment and drifted dangerously into a state of…complacency. Maybe you’re leaning less on God because life seems to be pretty GOOD. There are no outstanding needs. No major stressors. No pressing concerns… In theory, that sounds great! But the reality is, if we aren’t careful, this can cause us to lose intimacy with God.  I hate to say it but people have a tendency to stop communicating with God when they feel secure in their circumstances. This has to grieve His heart. After all, a relationship shouldn’t be centered on circumstances..but rather, centered on the heart.. centered on love for one another. BUT since the fall of Adam…human nature tends to be self serving. The moment you take your eyes off of God and start living for self OR just living in complacency… that’s where the enemy slips his foot in the open door of your heart. THIS is what happened to David. This was the moment he fell into complacency and eventually..he fell from grace. Not only did David relegate his duties, but he became very comfortable. So comfortable, in fact, that he had time for mid-afternoon naps, and inappropriate observations. Had he been out to war like he was supposed to be, he never would have noticed the beautiful Bathsheba. See? Complacency is a slippery slope. The following series of events lead David to have innocent blood on his hands. His decisions were self-serving rather than God led. Had his heart been on the Lord, the story wouldn’t have lead to such a fall.  There are a few things I want to point out in today’s story. It was a lot to read so I’ll only grab a few for consideration: One: David’s heart posture changed. He became complacent, losing intimacy with God which ultimately resulted in a path of sin and pain.  Two: David had someone in his life, (Nathan), who loved him enough and feared God enough to POINT OUT his own unjust behavior. This is a great reminder to us all to keep friends around us who love us, fear the Lord, and are willing to hold us accountable for poor choices.  Three: David Confesses that he sinned against God and God’s word. This is not to be overlooked. Redemption cannot come without confession and repentance.  And Four: God forgives David. But there is still a price to be paid for sin. Always. Sin can only lead to death. The difference here is that God will turn our mistakes into something Good. But he ONLY does this after repentance, a heart turned back to Him. Remember Romans 8:28 “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”  David was a good man. He was a man after God’s own heart. He was obedient to God and gave Him the glory. But even good men fall. Even good people make bad decisions. Not a single one of us are exempt. But here’s the good news. David repented for what he had done. He took ownership and asked God for forgiveness. He still paid a high price. God said his household would rebel against him.. and indeed.. in the chapters ahead, it does. But, David’s heart came back to God. He received forgiveness. At the end of the day, there’s nothing we can do that God won’t forgive. (Apart from blasphemy). David literally committed adultery and murder. God still forgave him. That’s not to say there wasn’t a price to pay, for that is a principle of sin. However, when handed back to God, there will also be redemption. And that, my friends, is where we will pick up next week on our last episode. As you go out this week, I pray you’ll remember this. God offers grace no matter what offense. No matter what YOUR fall from grace looked like or looks like now. You have only to repent.. invite Him back into it. Let Him turn it for the good. He wants that for you, and for us all.. I love y’all and I’ll catch you next week! Reference : 2 Samuel 11 and 12
10/16/202314 minutes, 25 seconds
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Episode 59: The Life Of David - Appointed

Well, if you’ve made it this far, congratulations. We are halfway through the Life of David. Roughly fifteen years after David first came onto the scene in the Bible (remember, he was anointed as a teenager), he finally entered the into the season of appointing. But lets not forget all the in-between! Notice: this was years and years in the making. Notice there were years of being hidden… there were years of preparation…and of course, there were years of running. That is most often the case for each of us as well. There is a call on our lives and an anointing from a young age, but it takes years, maybe even decades, to finally see it. Call me an optimist, but I find hope in that. Just knowing that the trials are preparation. Knowing the time was never wasted, but in fact, that time was honing your skills and developing your strengths. This is where we find David. If you’ll remember where we left of, King Saul was dead. And there was, unsurprisingly a bit of conflict after his death. After all, he had an entire line of sons to secede him. (And they didn’t go without a fight). During this time, 7 years to be exact, David ruled over the kingdom of Judah (which was the southern half of the nation) while Saul’s house wrestled internally for kingship of the northern kingdom. Eventually Ish-Bosheth, one of Saul’s sons, was murdered. This is when David finally became king over all of Israel. (David didn’t murder him, by the way.. he was murdered from members of his own corrupt raiding bands). Anyway..This event launched David into his place as King over the entire nation…finally uniting the the two kingdoms after years of civil war. This is a key takeaway about David. He saw God in it. This is what made him so special, he always turned his eyes back to God. He SAW God do what He said He would do in his life. He made him King. He blessed David. But David also saw WHY God did it. For the sake of his people Israel. It wasn’t for David’s vanity. It wasn’t because of his accomplishments or qualifications. It was because of his heart posture.  God chose the youngest son of farmer. He was little more than a teenager in the tiny town of Bethlehem. BUT. This boy had a heart for God. It was why he was chosen. And it was also that heart that made him continually act in obedience. He honored God in all that he did. Remaining in this heart posture, David knew God didn’t do this just to elevate a young man from shepherd to king. God did this for the sake of his people, Israel.  And there’s my favorite takeaway today. God chooses the unexpected. Because He see’s the heart and knows the motive. God calls, anoints, prepares, and appoints those who will honor His will. Because ultimately, God’s will is for the good of ALL of His children. And He can use US to accomplish whatever that is. If we are obedient. If we remain in Him. I find it remarkable that after all those years, David amassed fame, victories, and power… and instead of being filled with self-pride or ego, he sees God in it. And he sees the bigger picture for it. Not just for him. But for Israel. What a testimony to that heart of his.  Every night I pray over our own boys that they have hearts like Davids’. Hearts after God’s own… That is my prayer for each of you today. That you’ll have hearts like David. That despite the waiting and the preparation, the running and the fighting…you’ll see God in it. Not only will you see Him in it, but you’ll see WHY God did it. He did it so you can rule and reign and change the lives of others for God’s glory.  I love y’all. Catch us back next week to hear all about the next season in David’s Live… it’s not pretty, but most of us have had our own season of it. A fall from grace. And ultimately, his life ends in redemption. It’s going to be good!  Thank you to our sponsor! NIV Journal the Word Bible published by Zondervan. Visit your local Christian bookstore or⁠ journaltheword.com⁠ to find a beautiful edition!
10/9/202310 minutes, 58 seconds
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Episode 58: The Life Of David - On the Run

Today, we are going to step over into the next season of David’s life I like to call: On The Run. I felt like it was appropriate. From experience, I can say there is usually a time we all feel like we are on the run from something. It might even be God you’re running from! Like the call on your life is so overwhelming you just... run away. Out of fear. Out of intimidation. And frankly, out of feeling like you aren’t qualified for any of it. Others of you may be pursing God’s calling on your life but you feel the enemy coming against you. Maybe today, you’re even on the run from all of the attacks the enemy has brought against you and your family and your future. Maybe you're just plain tired. Relentless warfare is a tactic from the enemy. He loves to pursue us. Why? Because if he is successful, we will be too tired to pursue our God-given purpose. This is where David finds himself. Running. Not from God but from the enemy. Let me reason some scripture here to set the scene... 1 Samuel 18:1-30 Okay, so, here’s my ‘cliff’s notes’ version of David's story. David was likely around 15 years old or so when God sent Samuel to anoint him as the future king... It was a few years later, in his late teens, that David killed Goliath and entered into the service of King Saul. So, this put David around 20 years old. At this point, he had entered into the kings household, and served for some years. Again, this is all time of preparation for what comes next for young David. During this time, he plays the lyre for Saul, and when he comes of age, begins leading men in his army. He eventually became a successful warrior and even married one of Saul's daughters. This is where things get hairy. King Saul couldn't control his jealousy any longer. Overtaken by an evil spirit, Saul attacked David while he was serving the king! David fleas... This marked the beginning of a new season. A season of running. For the remainder of 1 Samuel (at least 12 more chapters), David ran for his life. I encourage you to read these chapters for yourself, because they are seriously full of action and intrigue.. We won't have time today, though. Rather, I will share this. When David fled, he hid and gathered a group of followers. These were battle tough men who rallied behind him and fought for him. For years, David and his men were in constant motion, hiding from Saul's army, running all over the country, hiding in towns and caves and anywhere they could to keep moving. During this time (and on two separate occasions), David was within striking distance of Saul and spared his life. Remember, David had a heart after God's own.. He dared not take the life of a man God had once anointed. Simultaneously during this time David and his men were also out fighting (and destroying) enemy forces. Not only was David fighting other battles while he ran from King Saul, but King Saul was also at war with surrounding countries. Honestly...there's about 10 chapters of just running and fighting and more fighting! There was a fight everywhere you looked. So when David wasn't busy running for his life from Saul, he was busy fighting for his life against other enemies.. As weary as he must have been though, his reputation was growing... as well as the support of the people. After years of this nonstop warring and pursuit, King Saul is eventually wounded in battle against the Philistines. Rather than be overtaken by the enemy, he falls on his own sword, taking his life. At long last.. Saul was dead. The running was over. And a new season...was about to begin. Thank you to our sponsor! NIV Journal the Word Bible published by Zondervan. Visit your local Christian bookstore or journaltheword.com to find a beautiful edition!
10/2/202318 minutes, 42 seconds
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Episode 57: Interview with Carly Brannon - Founder of Carly Jean Los Angeles

In today’s episode, I’m so happy to be sitting down with the founder of Carly Jean Los Angeles, Carly Brannon! A wife, a momma of 4, and an entrepreneur, Carly shares how CJLA came to be and how it has empowered women to feel like themselves again with their own personal style. Carly walks us through how God has shown up in the unexpected throughout her life from closing her brick and mortar for 6 full years to raising her littles! We talk about the seasons of life and the importance of what you are making a priority in your life. To know more about Carly and CJLA visit www.carlyjeanlosangeles.com Thank you to our sponsors: - Listen to We're Going There here - NIV Journal the Word Bible published by Zondervan. Visit your local Christian bookstore or journaltheword.com to find a beautiful edition!
9/25/202347 minutes, 9 seconds
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Episode 56: The Life Of David - The Early Years

Thank you to our sponsor! - So Happy to Know You book: Get your copy right now at⁠ sohappytoknowyou.com⁠! Welcome back, guys! I’m pretty excited to pick up where we left off last week on the Life of David. (Go back and give last week’s episode a listen, if you missed it!) I gave a little introduction of all the good stuff this series covers and we jumped in to the first season of David’s life on record: Anointing. It’s the perfect place to begin. It represents a pivotal moment that changes the trajectory of David’s life... and, don’t we all have that? At least one big, life-changing thing that lays the groundwork for our whole future?? And this may not be surprising to anyone at this point but.. it’s usually the unexpected! When God anoints you and calls you to something greater than yourself...buckle up. It means you’re in for a wild, sometimes difficult, but always beautiful ride. Last week we learned that anointing always comes with an assignment. So this next season of David’s life that I’m calling “The Early Years” represents the next leg of preparation for his journey. And, whether we see it or not, our own early years are almost certainly going to be the preparation we need to take us into the next place. Full of trials and oftentimes, a waiting period, the early years are foundational to God’s leading you into your assignment. There’s a lot to cover today so let’s jump in and learn a little more about David’s early years. Beginning in 1 Samuel 16:14-23 (After David was anointed by Samuel and King Saul lost God’s anointing). Anointing is attached to assignment. Anointing is followed by preparation. And Anointing draws attention. The Early Years Prepare your character. And the Early Years prepare your gifts.. Anointing is followed by preparation. Early Years of preparation bring out your giftings. These years put you through trials. These years increase your faith. And, if done well, this time deepens your intimacy with God. Think about some of David's trials: out in those fields, David fought bears and lions. But he wasn't alone in those trials..he defeated them with God's anointed strength. This built not only his trust in the Lord but also grew his faith. His character was changing. His strength was growing. His faith was building. AND...in the midst of it all... He was out there worshiping. Playing instruments and writing songs of praise. His giftings were being honed. The very giftings that brought him before the king. And here's the cherry on top: He was known by others as a man who knew God.. literally the men in court recommending him to Saul said "the Lord is with him." Gosh. What if that's how people described you? A genuine heart for God and life lived for Him will speak for itself. What a testimony! We can all learn a little something from David's life... These early years were the ones that prepared him. Just as early years prepare us.. David didn't know what the future would hold for him. He was just a boy when he was anointed and told He would be king. That's all he knew. He didn't know when or how it would happen... He simply had to rely on the Lord's strength and timing to see it unfold. And maybe that's how you feel today. Like God put something in your heart and you know you're anointed for it. Maybe you don't know how it will happen or when but your spirit feels that pull. Let this be your encouragement today. That anointing will be followed with preparation. Don't fight it. Let God refine you in it. Let Him lead you through it.. because that preparation may bring you before kings (metaphorically of course). That anointing and preparation may put you in rooms with people you could have never imagined. Lean into it and listen for His voice..
9/18/202319 minutes, 6 seconds
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Episode 55: The Life Of David - Anointed

Over these next few weeks, I'm excited to finally be diving into scripture about the life of David. We will be breaking down his story into a six part series! In this series, we will look at the ups and downs of the life of a man who had a heart for God. Like us, he was flawed and made many mistakes..but ultimately, he is redeemed through it all.. Be sure to follow along and see just how his journey unfolds. In preparing for this podcast I actually put a poll out a while back and was happily surprised to see that so many of you requested hearing more Biblical stories! It’s true though, stories always seem to resonate more deeply than other lessons or teachings. Stories are how we relate. Not just to one another but also to history. It’s part of the reason I love the Bible so much! Anyway, as I began combing through looking for some bite-sized stories, I realized I have definitely skipped over some big ones. One in particular I have wanted to share about is the Life of David. Trouble is… David’s life (and the study of it) could take up an entire year all on its own! So, what I thought I would do over the next few weeks is go over his life: in pieces.  David’s life was an eventful one to say the least. It doesn’t just take up a few chapters in the Bible but several BOOKS of the Bible. He is even credited with writing part (if not most) of the book of Psalms. As I set out to start sorting the events into categories, I saw something. What I saw was a man’s life that, truly, embodied many seasons. And, like us, his life reflected some of the same themes WE experience throughout our own lives. There are lessons to be found in each of them. So, in the weeks ahead, we will be looking at the Life Of David by season.  There are seasons of - Anointing There are seasons of - Early Years (Of Preparation) There are seasons of - Running Seasons of - Appointing Seasons of - A Falling From Grace And finally, there are seasons of - Redemption…. My prayer is that this series is a mix of stories and messages tailored to your heart. David’s life… like many of our own, is filled with highs and lows. It is unpredictable and unexpected. And mostly, it is the story of a man who has a heart for God and who teaches us what that relationship can look like. Through the good and the bad. In the falling and in the redemption. David is part of the lineage of Jesus. His life and his choices changed the course of the world. His story reveals God’s heart for men and give us hope that no matter what season we are in, God is there. Our lives are full of purpose. And our God is purposeful with us. I love you guys and I pray this series blesses you..   Next week’s episode we will pick up on David’s early years! We would LOVE to hear from you as we go too, so don’t be afraid to drop us a message or comment on any of our socials! Follow Hannah: @hannah.billingsley  Follow Unexpected: @unexpected.hannahlove  Produced by That Sounds Fun Network   Thank you to our sponsor the NIV Journal the Word Bible published by Zondervan. Visit your local Christian bookstore or journaltheword.com to find a beautiful edition!
9/11/202312 minutes, 40 seconds
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Episode 54: What Authority Do YOU Have As A Child Of God?

Over the last few years, I have been deep diving and trying to get a better understanding of what my authority is as a child of God. And I feel like that's something that's not often preached about. It may be mentioned or talked about that we have that authority. And in fact, last week's episode, I talk about confronting the enemy, which is vital. I think that that is something critical that we need to remember that we can do and that we have the authority to do it. However, I got to thinking, how do you do that if you don't fully have an understanding of what authority is and why we have it legally in the Bible? Today, I wanted to take you through a resource that I have found lately that is really short, pretty clear and to the point. And most importantly, it is backed up by scripture, just about everything. Actually, everything in this book. It's called The Believers' Authority. It is an older book. It was written by Kenneth E. Hagen, and it is all scripturally backed up. I might not read every scripture and go through all of that today. I will make references, and I am going to be reading portions out of this book because even in the week that I've had it, I have had more takeaways than I have in the last three years of really trying to understand what authority I have in God's Kingdom and why I have that authority and how to wield it. I think it's important that we understand that as children of God. And when we do have an understanding, then we are more equipped to use it. And that is my job. That is my hope for you today that you will listen and that you will feel better equipped to confront the enemy and to take hold of your authority and understand just exactly what that is. Today, I’ll answer these questions: What is authority? Why do we have authority? What is the Source of our authority? How do we exercise it? We are the body. Christ is the head. Jesus ascended into heaven. And when He ascended into heaven, He handed over, He delegated that authority to us, and we are co-heirs with Him as one. He's the head and we're the body and we all function together. Okay, so what is the source of our authority? Again, I'm going to quote Kennedy Hagen in his book, The source of our authority is found in this resurrection and exalting of Christ by God. You will never understand the authority of the believer only with intellect. You must get a spiritual revelation of it. You must believe it by faith. Jesus already did his job! He came. He lived life as a man. He died for OUR SINS. And He ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven. He won’t be coming back until God’s timing to return and make the enemy His footstool.“You’re not demanding of God when you demand your rights; you’re demanding of the devil!!!” Your life will change if you start operating in the authority that you have. Remember if you have resources available at your disposal, and you just never use them because you don’t know they're there. It’s not going to do you any good. You have all that you need because God has done everything for us. He won the battle, He sent His son. The victory is ours and now it is our job to step up and do our part in taking partnership with Jesus and taking authority over the enemy in any and every area of our life. Scripture Referenced: Ephesians 1:18-23 Ephesians 2:4-6 Acts 3:6 Hebrews 1:13 Buy The Believer’s Authority by Kenneth E Hagin - HERE Follow Hannah: @hannah.billingsley  Follow Unexpected: @unexpected.hannahlove  Produced by That Sounds Fun Network   Thank you to our sponsor the NIV Journal the Word Bible published by Zondervan. Visit your local Christian bookstore or journaltheword.com to find a beautiful edition!
9/4/202313 minutes, 42 seconds
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Episode 53: All My Single Ladies! - Life, Love And Lessons with Georgia Brown

I'm so excited to finally be sitting down with my dear friend, Sweet Georgia Brown! To know her is to love her! She talented author, singer/songwriter, podcaster, worship leader, and faithful servant who is passionate about prayer. Born and raised in Arkansas, Georgia now calls Music City her home. She is a lover of Jesus and people! In today’s episode, we dive into her story and how God has shown up in her life in the unexpected. Follow Georgia Brown! Listen to Georgia's Podcast : Faith & Friends Buy Georgia’s book : Hi God, It’s Me Thank you to our sponsor the NIV Journal the Word Bible published by Zondervan. Visit your local Christian bookstore or journaltheword.comto find a beautiful edition!
8/28/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 33 seconds
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Episode 52: Confront The Enemy

I hope that you are enjoying this amazing weather we've been having.I feel like it's kind of a tease because we're still in the early days of August. But nonetheless, my heart is now on football and hot chocolate and all things fall related. I don't know if you guys love football, but we do. I love a good weekend game. It got me thinking about watching games where one of the teams is absolutely dominating. Have you ever seen one of those? You probably have! Where the other team is just holding the line, like they're not even thinking about scoring a point because they're so worried about not letting them score anymore on them. Like it's bad, kind of a bloodbath. But how often is that situation like us as Christians? Like how often do we feel like we are being dominated by the enemy? The enemy is coming after your kids. The enemy coming after your marriage, your business, your relationships, your peace. Man, I know I have been there. Then I was reading in the Word this week and something jumped out at me... Whoa. Okay, that little piece in the middle there got me.It says, as you confront the slanderer. So in other words, God didn't just give us the armor of God to keep us from being beaten down. He gave it to us to confront the enemy, to come at Him, to come for Him. Because we are living in the days of warfare, spiritual warfare. It's all around us. And I feel like so often we are so worn down by it that we just feel like we're doing our best to pray about it and to just survive. It like you're putting on your armor and you're surviving the beat down, but that is not what God wants for us. And in fact, that is not what God calls us to. Guys, the enemy has strategies against you. Plans on plans on plans, coming for you and your kids and your business and your mental health and your peace.The enemy wants to kill and steal and destroy everything good that God wants and promises for you. It is our job and well within our rights as children of God to take hold of our authority and say no and push back and decree and declare. There's another line that I've heard somewhere along the way, and it goes a little something like, you will never win a battle you don't fight. I mean, it makes sense. And did you know even that when God called the children of Israel out of Egypt and they wandered in the desert for 40 years in the wilderness? Did you know that he called them to their inheritance? That he had promises for them. But he didn't promise that those things would come easy. In fact, they had little faith and an entire generation died off because they lived in fear. And they did not reach out and take hold of the promises. They did not reach out and take hold of their inheritance. That was promised to them. And when they did, it was a new generation. It was the generation behind them. And they finally crossed over the Jordan. And what did they do? They fought. They fought. And God promised that the land would be theirs. It was theirs for the taking. But how do you take something if you don't fight for it? What a good message in that.  So today, I just wanted to leave you with this encouragement. If you are feeling pummeled and you feel like just putting on the armor of God and just praying isn't enough, maybe it's not. Maybe you needed this reminder today to encourage you to declare over your home, declare over your children, decree the promises of God. Speak it over them. Speak it over your kids lives, over your marriage, consecrate your home to God. Consecrate your words and your actions and your life and your ministry. Consecrate it all to him. He will cover and keep and protect you. And as you do so, and you hold on to those promises and you speak those promises over your kids.That is how you come into agreement with God and what his word says. And remember, God wants us to confront the enemy..not just survive him and his attacks Follow Hannah Love Mooney Follow Unexpected with Hannah Love Produced by That Sounds Fun Network
8/21/20237 minutes, 27 seconds
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Episode 51: Are You In A Season…? Or A Cycle

As the summer weeks have warmed up it seems like our schedules have, too. In the midst of it,  I’ve tried to get back into a rhythm. On one particular day, I walked and prayed. I had started listening to a podcast but stopped midway through because I felt the need to pray. Not just praying but praying in the Spirit. I probably walked for 30 minutes praying before I got a sweet surprise. My sister-in-law called. Now, if I’m being honest, I can’t be the only millennial out there who has an aversion to phone calls. But. I do LOVE a good convo with Erica. So I was pumped. After a little catchup, she asked me how she could be praying for me. I feel like my list was a mile long…but I kept tacking onto it because I knew she *really* would pray for all the things. And at the very last, I asked her to be praying over the podcast. This is when things got especially good. Erica said, “You know? Sometimes God gives us revelation on things that can feel big to us but not always to other people… you know what I mean? So maybe this isn’t a big thing to anyone but me, but I’m going to share it.” She began explaining. Days before, she said she had been having a ‘lazy day’ scrolling through her phone. Mostly on tiktok. Eventually, she set the phone aside to pray. As she took a breath she felt her mind saying “This is just a season…”. And in that moment, she felt God say to her… “Is this a season? Or is this a cycle?” She went on to explain how seasons are Biblical. But when you look up cycle’s, oftentimes there’s a choice involved. Like a continually repeated behavior. Today, my question to all of you listening is this: Are YOU in a season right now? OR are you in a cycle…. Seasons are a natural progression over time. Cycles…on the other hand, can be irregular and lend themselves more to a cause and effect type occurrence rather than a natural event. I mean, this is my own translation but it feels a lot like this: Seasons are God made. Cycles are man-made. Are your choices drawing you closer to God… or are they distracting you from Him in an endless loop. I want to encourage you today to reflect. Invite God into those places you find yourself in… Ask Him to show you any cycles that need breaking and ask Him to encompass you in any season you’re in. And.. He will.  Thank you to our sponsor the NIV Journal the Word Bible published by Zondervan. Visit your local Christian bookstore or journaltheword.com to find a beautiful edition! Follow Hannah Love Mooney HERE Follow Unexpected with Hannah Love HERE
8/14/202310 minutes, 45 seconds
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Episode 50: Mom Guilt (And Feelings of Failure)

School is about to start back and I feel like the family schedule has gone from zero to a hundred in the last couple of weeks. The speed at which things are unfolding has me overwhelmed. And I can feel the pressure of the mom-guilt wrapping around me like a weighted blanket. I hate it. But I know I’m not the only one who feels this sometimes. There’s something about motherhood (or maybe just adulthood in general) that triggers us to feel responsible for the wellbeing of everyone all the time. It’s heightened when you have small children, too, because you literally are. Responsible. For their little lives and their wellbeing.  This is just an example, (But lets be honest, its the reason I sat down to even contemplate mom-guilt today, too). We have had everything from concussions to nightmares to meltdowns and illness, birthday parties, school functions, and a myriad of small mishaps…this week alone. Mix in a 6 month old, traveling husband, and a house full of high energy boys…y’all, I’m tired. And all I can do is dwell on the ways I’ve failed my family this week. Have you ever felt this way? Exhausted. Full schedules. Loud houses. A million obligations and NO time or patience or energy to do any single ONE thing well. Like…not just a physical tired. It’s something deeper. This tired is more like a weariness of heart. And have you ever noticed that its usually when you feel this weariness that you feel MOST like a failure.. to your spouse. To your kids. To your friends and people who depend on you? I’m imagining a few head nod’s from y’all as you review some of your own chaos haha. And I didn’t come here today to vent about my life and my moments of overwhelm… I really just came to acknowledge its something we all experience. AND I came to offer a little bit of encouragement in it.  As I sat in my overwhelm this morning, I started thinking about people in the Bible (namely women) who must have felt like failures at times. Do you know the first story that came to mind? Mary. The mother of Jesus.  Today, we read a story out of Luke and come away with a few takeaways having to do with guilt and failure…  The first: Nobody is exempt from mom-guilt and feelings of overwhelm. Frankly, I’m just glad mine aren’t documented in the Bible for all of time. But… I am, as always, thankful that God made sure to include these human moments to remind us of just that. We are only human. We will fail. We will mess up. We will make mistakes. And.. we will become weary. BUT. The Bible is also full of reminders that God’s power is made perfect in our weaknesses. His grace is sufficient for us. Not in our own strength, but in His. He is there to pick us right back up when we fall. Holy Spirit is there to lead us into all truth. We are never alone.  The other observation I made is this: Moment’s of failure are opportunities for growth. Moment’s of weakness provide the beautiful gift of reflection and self-evaluation… Today, I pray you’ll remember each of these things and be encouraged. God KNEW we would fail. He knew we would fail In moments of parenthood, in marriage, in friendships, in business and in relationships. But He also offered the solution when He sent His son into the world. His son, Jesus…who was by all accounts lost for a few days from his own mother… God didn’t let that little story be written into the Bible for no reason. There’s always a reason. A reminder. That God loved us so much, he made sure to include even the smallest dimensions of human life (like mom-guilt and feelings of failure) so that we may know we aren’t the only ones. We aren’t alone. And… most importantly, we are granted grace from it because of His love and the sacrifice of His precious son. I love y’all and I pray this reminder finds you when you need it…  Thank you to our sponsor the NIV Journal the Word Bible published by Zondervan. Visit your local Christian bookstore or journaltheword.com to find a beautiful edition!
8/7/202311 minutes, 43 seconds
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Episode 49: Holy Spirit Highlights + Bonus Q&A

*Holy Spirit (again a part of the Trinity) was there in the beginning and participated in creation… He was present throughout the Old Testament Genesis 1:2 “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Job 26:13 “By His Spirit He adorned the heavens; His hand pierced the fleeing serpent.” Isaiah 32:15 “Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest.” Even though Holy Spirit was there in the old testament… He was made available to everyone after the new Covenant was made by the blood of Jesus. (In the New Testament) We hear mention of this in Matthew 3:11 from John the Baptizer… Matthew 3:11 John says “I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am —so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” -NLT Matthew 3: 13-17 then says “Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him. After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” *After Holy Spirit descends on Jesus at His baptism and then leads Him into the wilderness (Matthew 4:1) - The Lesson - Sometimes you must let Holy Spirit lead you into trials before God takes you further into your purpose. *Holy Spirit empowers us to speak boldly, giving us words, wisdom, and discernment. Examples… Romans 8:26-27 “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groaning that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for Him.” *Holy Spirit speaks to us in dreams and visions and whispers. (Some call it conscience) I mentioned Acts in last week’s episode but it was the major marker of the New Testament to the New Covenant; So I wanted to end on the Holy Spirit here today: Acts 2:17 says “In the Last Days,” Gods says, “I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters; Your young men will see visions, your old men dream dreams. When the time comes, I’ll pour out my Spirit on those who serve me, men and women both, and they’ll prophesy.” I believe we are in those, days, sweet friends. And I wanted to encourage you in that! How exciting that God promises this outpouring. The dreams and visions. Prophesying. I love reading about it and living it. I’ve been so excited to share this subject And I hope in the episodes to come, we can dive deeper in.. Hey, y'all! Would you take a minute to fill out this podcast listener survey so I can learn more about you?! The survey asks who you are, why you love the show, what you want to hear more of, and more. Your feedback is so helpful as I continue to create this show. Thanks so much!
5/29/202330 minutes, 34 seconds
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Episode 48: Holy Spirit (And How It Changes Your Life!)

A couple of years ago, a new part of my began. I got baptized in the Holy Spirit. And…it changed everything. I guess I’ll backtrack and tell you a little about how I got there. After all, If you had told me that phrase a few years back, I’d have had NO idea what it even meant! So I’ll do my best to take you back and share… I grew up in a predominantly Baptist church. I’m sure there’s a wide range denominational backgrounds listening today…and maybe some who have no background at all in anything having to do with a church. I guess I never realized just how many differences there were in the denominations. I only knew what I knew… Just as I’m sure most people only know one way as they grow up in the same church home their whole lives. Now, what I’m NOT here to do today is tell you about those differences. After all, I have no official qualifications or degrees in theology. But what I do have is a story of my own. And as I continue on my walk with the Good Lord, I’m understanding more and more that everyone will have their own unique relationship and experiences with God. Today, I’ll share a little about mine. This episode will also be touching on scripture that talks about the Holy Spirit. How Jesus sent Him. And how He empowers us. Fun Holy Spirit References: •Acts 1 (full chapter) •Acts 2 (full chapter) •Romans 8:2-6 •1 Corinthians 6:19 •John 3:6-8 •John 14:15-17 •Galatians 5:22-23 After this episode, I would love to hear questions and feedback on what YOU would like to hear more about! [email protected]
5/22/202320 minutes, 21 seconds
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Episode 47: New Beginnings: A Conversation With Shay Mooney & His Health Journey

Thank you to our sponsors! Jesus Revolution movie: visit jesusrevolution.movie to learn more! TalkAbout from Awana: visit TalkAboutDiscipleship.com and use code HANNAH to start getting your free content this week
5/15/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 22 seconds
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Episode 46: Story Time...

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5/8/202314 minutes, 19 seconds
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Episode 45: Do It Afraid

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5/1/202315 minutes, 37 seconds
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Episode 44: The Golden Rule

Thank you to our sponsors! Jesus Revolution: Join me in hosting your very own movie night to enjoy JESUS REVOLUTION, available now on demand, digital, Blu-Ray and DVD! Visit jesusrevolution.movie to learn more! Visit TalkAboutDiscipleship.com and subscribe with code HANNAH to get your first month of family faith content for FREE.
4/24/202314 minutes, 21 seconds
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Episode 43: Choosing to See- with Mary Beth Chapman

In this special episode, I sit down to visit with a woman I love and admire. With a gift for storytelling and a vulnerability that draws you in, you’ll be left full of hope and encouragement. Today, it is my honor to introduce Mary Beth Chapman. Mary Beth Chapman is the Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Show Hope, a nationally recognized nonprofit in adoption advocacy and orphan care that she and her husband, Steven Curtis Chapman, founded. She is a speaker and a “New York Times” best-selling author. . In this conversation, Mary Beth shares pieces of her story and much of her heart. Tune in and be encouraged as truth shines through her words… Thank you to our sponsor, Awana! Visit TalkAboutDiscipleship.com and subscribe with code HANNAH to get your first month of family faith content for FREE.
4/17/202354 minutes, 10 seconds
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Episode 42: Counterfeit Faith

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4/10/202312 minutes, 26 seconds
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A Story from Pastor Jeff Simmons

Holy Week
4/7/202314 minutes, 11 seconds
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Seeds of Faith

Seeds. The Bible says so much about them. About how we are, in many ways, like seeds ourselves. It also talks about how we sow seeds. About how they grow or don’t grow, multiply or wither. About seed, as in children and descendants. And maybe most often, seeds of faith. So, I thought that may be a great place to start today. In the book of Mark, Jesus tells the parable of the farmer scattering seed. Afterward, when Jesus was alone with his disciples, they asked him what the parables meant. He says (Mark 4:14) - “The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others.” He goes on to explain fully… “The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”” (Mark 4:15-20 NLT) And then… in John (12:24) Jesus says this: “Let me make this clear. A single grain of wheat will never be more than a single grain of wheat unless it drops into the ground and dies. Because then it sprouts and produces a great harvest of wheat—all because one grain died.” Today, I wanted to share this verse and this reminder as we near Easter. Jesus was the ultimate seed. He himself said…“The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others.” And that is exactly what God did. God (the farmer) planted His seed, Jesus… ultimately bringing the word to others. And isn’t it extraordinary? Jesus IS the Word. John 1:1 tells us “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” God planted His son, His seed… to reap a harvest. To redeem and save. He was buried and placed in a tomb. And then, He arose. He overcame death. And the fruit was and forever will be eternal life with Christ. At the end of this series, my hope is that you’ll be challenged to reflect on just what kind of seed you are. What kind of seeds you sow. To whom you sow and where… Is your seed taking the Word to the world? May it be so in my own life.. God, I thank You for the gift of your son today. For the seed sown and the gift given. May our seed be good. And may it yield a harvest multiplied..
4/6/20234 minutes, 47 seconds
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Tiny Seeds and Great Sequoias

There’s a beautiful revelation I’ve come to over the years and it’s this: Creation parallels God’s word. If you look closely enough, there is symbolism in everything. From the highest mountain to the tiniest of seeds. In fact, the Bible Mark 4:30, “Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.” Biologically, to be considered a seed, there must be an embryo (or life) inside. There’s no way of looking at a seed and knowing exactly what’s going to come out. It must first be buried. Many times, we may feel the same. Buried under life.. under wounds, brokenness, or fear. Isolated. Buried and in the dark. At some point the seed breaks open. Like our own hearts must crack open to allow God inside. Once He is invited into the broken place, new growth takes place. Like a sprout. Small at first. Maybe even still buried. Until the time is right. The Son/Sun will draw it out. Eventually… it will mature. It will produce. It will provide shelter or nutrition or beauty. And you really never know by the size of the seed, just what’s going to come out. In studying up on seeds this week I went to go read up on great sequoia trees. Mostly, I was just curious to see what their seeds looked like. We’ve likely all seen photos of these ancient trees. Able to grow for thousands of years, hundreds of feet high and roughly 30 feet in diameter.. I wanted to see just how impressive they were in seed form. I was totally surprised by what I discovered. The seeds came from pinecone looking cases. The cones themselves were modest but the seeds inside were so small. They looked very much like a single rolled oat. Seriously… I’m blown away how God creation to speak to us. How many of us have felt like we are too small or insignificant to make a difference? Like our contribution is so small it’s not even worth offering to the world? If we’re being honest, we’ve probably all felt that way or still feel that way. But. Don’t you know God can multiply anything we offer? No matter how small. Plant your seeds in faith and let Him do the rest. Let Him break you open and come into the areas of your life needing restoration. Let His Son, Jesus, call you up out of the place you felt buried. Watch, as your seed grows. Your testimony shared. Your obedience offered up. God continues to water and tend. And slowly…there’s growth. Not overnight, but steadily. Have you ever planted a young tree and a few years later actually notice it? Like it’s a full grown tree that came up while you were busy going about your work? That’s how our spiritual lives can look. Like a steady growth. One that will one day produce fruit. And so goes it is with the Kingdom of God. A modest beginning. Buried under the world but surrendered to God. Coming forth as the Son calls. Growing in obedience. Small beginnings are God’s specialty. Remember…David was a Shepherd boy, Esther was an orphan, Nehemiah was a cup-bearer, Gideon was hiding in the wine press, Daniel was an exile, Paul was a Murderer, and Ruth was a foreigner and a widow. Today, I’m praying for every person hearing this. Take your seed. As tiny as it may feel… Take it, and put it in the ground. Be intentional about planting. God will see to the growth. If only you respond in obedience. Heart surrendered. One day, by God’s grace, those tiny seeds have the potential to become great. Like the sequoias..whose heights are known around the world. Your life, too, can stand tall among the giants who live to serve His kingdom.
4/5/20236 minutes, 18 seconds
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Planting Seeds In A Dark World

I’m speaking these words just days after our community faced the unthinkable. A shooting at one of our Private Christian schools… An elementary school. Just babies. I spent the day weeping with a broken heart. Broken for the families who lost their children and loved ones. Broken for the world we live in.. And broken because we must somehow find the courage to raise our own little ones with the threat of darkness all around. The school was just a couple of miles from our home. We have friends whose children attend. The weight of it is staggering. We just so happened to have a parent teacher meeting the following morning for Asher. And as we sat, with teary eyes and a solemn undercurrent of tragedy, we spoke of the little boy God made Asher to be. We reviewed his academics and all of his charts. We saw where he excelled and discussed areas of improvement… But at the end, his teachers looked at us and just said something that spoke to the heart of any parent. They told us what a joy… a delight, and a light our little boy was. They told us just how they have seen him look at people and really see them and know them. How everywhere he goes, people know him and love him. And finally, they left us with the encouragement that our little boy was a testament to who we were as his parents. I don’t say any of this as if to say we do it better than anyone else. No, indeed. We are just as flawed as any others. But I will say… It was a rare moment of the outside world looking at our child… our precious fruit… and saying, “you’re doing a good job”. As I prepared for this series, I knew I wanted to speak to the seeds we plant as parents. So this meeting seemed to have been a timely reminder. When you plant seeds in the hearts of your children…they will take root. When you speak life over them, when you remind them of whose they are… and when you remind them of what God says is true over what the world says. Those are things that take root. Not to say it was all done perfectly. And not to say we did or will ever do all of the right things for our kids. But. What I do know is that we have asked God to lead us in our parenting. I know God gave us these babies to steward over. To pour into and love on. To guide and to remind. But mostly… God gave us these babies with the responsibility of setting an example. May we show them every day how to look to God first and always. Over the last few years, God has challenged Shay and I to work on our own selves. He has asked to step into places that need His healing. He has asked us to be vulnerable. And He has asked us to be obedient…no matter the price. The fact of the matter is.. Our children will never be healthy and whole unless we, ourselves, show them where to find their healing and wholeness. As someone once said, “You teach what you know, but you reproduce who you are.” And I’ll spend my entire life committed to that. To reproducing in our children what God has reproduced in us. So today, my prayer is that you’ll plant seeds of faith in your own children or the lives of children you impact. I pray you’ll do the work. The fruit will often look like little ones who bring joy to dark places. Thank you, Jesus for the chance we have to multiply Your goodness. Thank you, God that we get to hold them and love them and continue sowing.
4/4/20235 minutes, 12 seconds
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Seeds of Friendship

A while back, we bought some wildflower seeds. I let the boys pick little packets of different varieties. The one I chose, however, was a larger bag of assorted seeds. Asher was excited to get started sewing them. As my firstborn, he has a very definite sense of order so he began opening packets and sorting them into little styrofoam cups. I winced a little when I saw this because I knew the chances were pretty high that we would drop or spill these cups before we ever got them outside. But, he was proud of his work. So I dutifully admired it. And as I glanced down the row of neatly ordered cups, I began peaking into them. Each cup for its own seeds. Until I got to the assorted cup. Asher asked me why they all looked different and I explained they will all make different kinds of flowers. It’s a beautiful visual, really. And I couldn’t help but smile because I had already been thinking about doing a series on ‘Seeds’, so this felt like a God-wink of affirmation. Aren’t we so like those mixed up seeds in the assorted cup? And aren’t we, too, planting and sowing different types of seeds in this life? It may take different forms… the produce won’t be the same and the process won’t be the same, either. But nonetheless, something grows from our lives. As fruit grows from seeds. And just like anything else, you’ll reap exactly what you sow. Galatians 5:22 says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” If these are the fruits, you’ll have to sow these very things to see your return. You can plant seeds anywhere. In your home and family, at your work, amongst your friends, community, and truthfully, the world. If that’s too overwhelming for you, I’ll start a little closer to home. How about friendship? As a mother you can’t help but look at the innocence before you and think about their future. Who will their friends be? Will they be surrounded by good hearts that pour into them? Will they be encouraged and inspired? Will they be loved? Shown kindness? Experience humility and patience and grace through the sweetness of friendship? And then I think, “Will HE be that friend?” - Lord, I pray they will. I pray they are surrounded by them and that they are them. Good hearts. It’s an earnest prayer. But there’s a big piece in it we play a part in. We have to sow good seeds ourselves. We have to invest in time and be intentional about the friends we have and allow into the lives of our kids. We must call out moments of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We have to exemplify these things. How do we do that? By having an active and intimate relationship with Christ. By being in the word. By modeling our relationship with God so it can overflow into our relationships with friends. Friendships are so important in life.. They grow us and sustain us in every season. I pray today these are the things our children see and know. I pray that one day, they will have their own. And above anything else, I pray they have this because we sowed good seed into our friendships and into their futures. Thank you to our sponsor TalkAbout from Awana: Visit TalkAboutDiscipleship.com and subscribe with code HANNAH to get your first month of family faith content for FREE.
4/3/20236 minutes, 33 seconds
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Episode 41: A Light In The Dark (Daniel’s Story)

If you know much about my story, you’ll have heard me mention how hard the first few years of marriage were for Shay and I. I actually go into a lot of detail about it in my interview with Shay from the first season if you haven’t listened… Anyway, it wasn’t exactly an easy time. I felt like I had somehow been thrown into a city and a life I never asked for. Coupled with a husband who was gone over 250 days the first year and a newborn… I was doing all I could to keep my head above water and just survive. Marriage, in the early years, is its own transition.. You’re learning the deepest parts of your spouse. Seeing them from every side; the good, the bad, and the ugly. You’re trying to figure out how to live together. How to communicate with each other. And honestly, sometimes you’re wondering who the heck you just signed up to spend the rest of your life with! If you’re married.. you probably remember.. and if you aren’t married yet, just remember that its a growing season. Anyway, part of the struggle I lived with was this: What am I doing here? I remember long walks on the phone with my sister-in-law, Erica. She was so patient as I spent minutes reflecting on my circumstances and my feelings. I had a LOT of time to think. A lot of time to consider this foreign new place I found myself in. And that’s really how it felt to me..foreign. At some point I stopped talking long enough for Erica to say something I’ll never forget. She told me, “Maybe you’re there to be a light in the dark”. The fact of the matter is… I knew that’s exactly how God worked (at least in the Bible). Through the unexpected. With unexpected people. Of course, this was well before I had begun studying the Bible and seeing its relevance to my own life. So, when she said this, I couldn’t exactly argue with her. I knew she could be right. But, to me, it felt highly unlikely. Or, I should say. God using ME felt highly unlikely. It took years and a lot of maturing to adjust my perspective. I remember having a conversation one day with a dear friend who used to be a singer in the industry. God had called her out of it for a time… and, though it broke her heart, she obeyed. As we talked about how God works in mysterious ways… she would reference Shay and how much of an opportunity he had to be a light in the dark. Trust me when I tell you, there’s a lot of dark in the music/ entertainment industries. Not to say that it’s all bad. Not at all. But, there’s definitely a lot of places that could use the love and light of Jesus. I began reflecting on this and..my heart began to change. I stopped feeling sad that Shay wasn’t out there singing gospel music. After all, God gave him his voice. And God could use him anywhere he went with that voice. Into the darkest cities and the darkest environments. A light in the dark. Like Daniel in the Bible. So, after reading in Daniel, I wanted to share this revelation. You may feel exiled. You may feel as though you’re living in a foreign land. You may feel alone and unqualified to do anything more than just survive day to day. But I have a word for you. God may have placed you there for this exact purpose. YOU can be a light in the dark. Your presence may be the thing that changes everything. If you let God’s light and His truths shine through you and your life. More years have gone by…since I moved to this town. And I have since stopped asking “why am I here?”. Instead… I choose to ask: “Now that I’m here…how can you use me, God?”. And I have a feeling that little question can change the course of your life.. Thank you to our partners! TalkAbout: Go to talkaboutdiscipleship.com to download your free Holy Week Family Guide and talk faith with your family this spring! Change Your Brain: Today is the day to start changing the trajectory of your life, one tiny step at a time. Visit changeyourbrainbook.com to learn more.
3/27/202316 minutes, 42 seconds
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Episode 40: Treasures In Dark Places; A Conversation With Tara Dickson

Tara Dickson is a speaker, author, podcaster, mother of four…and a widow. In this conversation, Tara vulnerably shares her story of unexpected loss. But. With God’s Grace and wisdom, she speaks beautifully of the perspective God gave her throughout her journey. Now, in her own words, Tara’s prayer is to help others find hope in hard places. Grab a tissue and mayyybe even a pen to scribble down a note or two. This episode is full of wisdom, beauty, and unexpected joy! Thank you to our sponsors! Talk About: Go to talkaboutdiscipleship.com to download your free Holy Week Family Guide and talk faith with your family this spring! Change Your Brain:  Visit changeyourbrainbook.com to learn more!
3/20/202350 minutes, 5 seconds
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Episode 39: Worship

Did you know….depending on the version of the Bible you read, and its translation, there is scripture pointing to Satan having the gift of music? In the book of Ezekiel there is a description of the beauty and power of satan while he was still an angel in heaven.. Oh yes, satan used to be beautiful and high ranking in Heaven. Ezekiel 28:13 (NKJV) says this about him: “The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.” Timbrels are like a tambourine. And pipes could be all number of musical instruments through which wind is blown. This points to the likelihood that he was a remarkably gifted musician. If God specifically prepared these talents for him on the day he was created, it would also stand to reason that his job in heaven was to lead worship. So. If you think about it with this perspective, Satan may have lead all the angels in heaven in their worship of God. Singing praises day and night to the Holy one. Ultimately, though, pride overtook him, becoming his downfall. He went around Heaven trying to persuade the other angels to rebel against God. Eventually, he and 1/3rd of the angels were kicked out for their rebellion. You may be wondering why I’m sharing all this. Trust me, I do have a point! Keeping all of this in mind.. it makes me think about worship differently. At least, in relation to its effect on Satan. Because he HATES it. I play worship music on our smart devices in our house 24/7…day and night. See, I’m a firm believer that worship music sets the atmosphere. It prepares the heart to receive God’s presence. And like I said, Satan HATES it. Think about it…He got fired. Kicked out. And lost any right he would ever have to lead worship. To sing praises and to create music. It must enrage him to even hear the notes of music for God’s glory. It’s something available to us all. Songs of praise. A joyful noise unto the Lord. And it’s a weapon, in many ways, against darkness. Especially when the words are taken directly from Scripture. It is a declaration of God’s promises. A reminder of His faithfulness. And a beautiful testament to the hope we have in Him. Worship truly sets the atmosphere. It reminds our hearts of God’s goodness and lifts our spirit in a way only music can. It dispels darkness. . So play it in your home. Play it in your car, or as you walk or workout. Play it in the background of whatever you’re doing through the day. Let the words of truth fill the atmosphere, displacing darkness. It has a way of seeping into you. Thank you to our sponsor, Talk About from Awana. Go to talkaboutdiscipleship.com to download your free Holy Week Family Guide and talk faith with your family this spring!
3/13/20238 minutes, 3 seconds
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Episode 38: Room to Grow

We are back! After the unexpected arrival of our newest little man THREE weeks early, we are back up and running! In this episode, I reflect on Abram’s birth story…and how God revealed some pretty beautiful truths through it. See, in the months leading up to the due date, I had been walking. Physically speaking, I knew that keeping up with a 6 year old, 3 year old, and newborn would be demanding. I set the goal for myself to walk forty miles a week while pregnant (as soon as the first trimester sickness eased anyway). And so, I did. Forty miles a week and between 100-250 flights of stairs a week depending on my schedule. I could tell my stamina was going to be better after this pregnancy and was so excited that I was doing prep work that would pay off after the baby was born. My core felt stronger and tighter than it had during my second pregnancy.. I couldn’t help but wonder, though… if all that walking was part of what made the baby stop growing. All that walking had kept my muscles strong but maybe those strong muscles had somehow cut off baby Abram’s room to grow. There really were no answers for that. With the diagnosis of Fetal Growth Restriction, I was simply told that the baby ‘ran out of room’ to grow without a cause or even a speculation as to why. It was so frustrating because I felt I had done the best job on this pregnancy to stay active and healthy. I had put in the work. I kept thinking about the irony of that. My preparation seemed to stop the growth of my baby. This is where I could see God showing me something. I began thinking of how this looks like us, a lot, as christians. We put in the work. We prepare. It’s a good thing. But at some point, we have to step out of the way and hand it over to God. We can only take ourselves so far. We can only grow so much in our own strength and our own humanity. We are limited. But God is limitless. I thought maybe, just mayyyybe, God was reminding me that we will always run out of room to grow… when we try to do it in our own strength. And honestly, I’m so thankful for that. If I had had it my way, my own plans for my life would have gone no further than a little house in a little town, minding my own business and not pursuing anything more. Safe, but ineffective at what God was really wanting from me. Instead, God DID have His way in my life…and because of it, I’m speaking thousands every week. Totally outside of my comfort zone. But pursuing the very things God put inside of me before I was even formed in my mother’s womb. God knows the end from the beginning. Sometimes, He just needs us to surrender our own way..our own life-preparation and let Him show us how much bigger it can be. And not just bigger, but more full. Because we do live in fullness when we are pursing God’s will over our own. Thank you to our sponsor: Talk About from Awana. Go to talkaboutdiscipleship.com to download your free Holy Week Family Guide and talk faith with your family this spring!
3/6/202315 minutes, 6 seconds
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Episode 37: Gifts of Influence (Government & Religion)

Hello everyone! We are well on our way to winding down this series on the gifts of influence. If you are just jumping in, this entire concept is based around the seven mountains of influence. My hope is that this series will be a tool for identifying your own special gifts and reflecting on where God has placed each of you (and why)! So far, we have covered these areas of gifting: Media, Arts & Entertainment, Business, Family, and Education. Today, I thought I would wrap it all up with the two most difficult mountains for me to write about. Government and Religion. (And for different reasons). In the arena of government, I truly have no personal references from which to pull! However, what I DO have is an understanding of HOW Christianity shaped the democracy on which this great country was founded. It would take a mountain of books to fit all of the words, speeches, and references over the years of key political figures who acknowledge the Christian foundation on which this nation was built. Interestingly enough, though, even as I researched this topic, it would appear many current day articles are doing their best to re-write history. Painting the picture that our origins have been mistranslated. This only seems to confirm what generals.org was referencing. It doesn’t take a scholar to notice the lengths to which current day lawmakers and representatives are going to to erase God from everything! Which leads me to my next point…this is exactly the reason it is SO important today for those of you gifted in this sphere to step into your roles! Those adept at debating, speaking, lawmaking, and generally, those comfortable in leadership as a representative of a community! YOU are the ones who will turn the tide. Stand your ground. Remember your foundations. Seek justice, restore order, and encourage a nation to get back to the morals and values it was founded in! Again, I can’t give a personal testimony about the impacts of Christianity in government, but I do know it’s how we, as a nation, began. I also know, it is up to those gifted in this arena to keep fighting the fight. Especially if we want to see differences being made at national and worldwide levels. And last, we have the final arena I’m covering today…religion. Like government, it is also a bit hard to touch on. Ironically, it has been made tricky because of the very spirit of religion within the Church. In many ways, churches and institutions have replace the fundamentals (I.e. faith being based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ).. and have instead focused on religious practices and traditions. This is a dangerous place to be… In fact, I found a quote that sums it up nicely. “Faithless action is acting on your own outside of God’s direction, grace, and ability.” - hopefaithprayer.com After all, Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us “For by grace you have been saved by faith. Nothing you did could ever earn this salvation, for it was the love gift from God that brought us to Christ! So no one will ever be able to boast, for salvation is never a reward for good works or human striving.” Today, I hope you’ll listen in and catch some highlights from both of these spheres of influence in government & religion. I pray no matter what arena or mountain of influence you find yourself in…you’ll examine your heart motive. The ‘why’ behind it all. Are you using your gifts to glorify or to gain personal success? Have you asked God how to use your gifts and when to use them and where? He gave them to YOU for a reason, sweet friend. Now, I challenge you to ask Him about the why’s. When you find it, He’ll open the right doors, and close the wrong ones. He’ll set you on the path to where He’s been calling you all along…
1/16/202315 minutes, 53 seconds
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Episode 36: Gifts of Influence (Education)

Welcome back and Happy New Year! I hope you’ve all had an amazing Christmas and a happy and healthy start to 2023! Even though the season of “Gift-giving” is technically over, I’m happy to report that this entire series on gifts is one that could and should be carried throughout the whole year! Especially as each and every one of you will be taking your own set of unique gifts out into the world this year! You’ll be influencing lives…being salt and light to all you meet. So, If you’re still with us in this series, I’m back today and ready to dive into the mountain of influence of…. Education! Technically, I feel like we all play a part in this sphere. And even if we haven’t been educators ourselves, we have certainly all benefitted from those who are. If you think about it, most of us have been to school in some capacity or have learned a skill or trade by watching someone else teach by example. One of the reasons I feel education is such a vital sphere of influence is because it plays a big role in supplementing what the family does. In other words, these are the ones who (outside of family) come into direct contact with people one on one. They get to develop impactful relationships beyond those immediate family connections. Teachers, educators, mentors, counselors, nurses… (and really anyone in the medical community, too) would all be examples of those falling into the Education gifting. Yes, much of what they do is education based..but the other half of that equation is applying that knowledge or those skills and using them to pour into the lives of people young and old. These are the ones who have the opportunity to reinforce values and ideas taught within the home and even church. These are the ones who love by teaching, encouraging, serving, and healing. They share their knowledge and pour out in tangible ways. After today’s episode, I pray you’ll reflect on those who have gone before you to teach, instruct, correct, and ultimately…to love you well. I pray you’ll recognize within yourselves the same talents and giftings cultivated by those who poured into you. If your gifts of influence are in the world of education, you’re a special one. And many of you need that reminder today, as a new year dawns. Go and serve. Teach, knowing you are making more of an impact than you could imagine. God has equipped you for a time such as this.
1/9/20239 minutes, 46 seconds
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Episode 35: Gifts of Influence (Family)

Welcome back! If you’ve been following along, you’ll know we have been covering some of the areas of influence we have in this world. This whole series is based on the natural giftings God has given us all… not only our giftings but also on the AREAS of influence that God has placed us in. My hope is that by using the concept of the Seven Mountains of Influence, you’ll have a kind of tool for identifying your mountain or mountains of influence and be encouraged! Once you’re able identify your gifts… you’ll be more confident about your place in the body of Christ AND you’ll be able to be more intentional about using your gifts where you are! Now, since many of my episodes actually touch on the importance of foundations (both laid for us by our parents and that we lay for our own children), I thought I would pivot to touch on another aspect of Family, today. Because of all of the giftings, FAMILY falls into a special category. I personally feel like family life is like an external GIFT from God. While the other gifts we will cover have more to do with internal gifts that God has given each of us uniquely… the family, (as I see it) is more external because it isn’t a gift from within our own abilities… instead it is a gift of multiplication beyond ourselves. Think about it… family multiples your joy, your capacity, and your ability to view God the way He views you…as His children! It’s like the granddaddy of all the gifts. It is so deep and rich and impactful and purposeful. Not only in your own life but in the lives of your children and ultimately, on the world. After listening to today’s episode, my prayer is that you’ll see family for what it is. A gift. Not only a gift but the most direct place of impact and ministry that you could have in your life. There are many other gifts… and you’ll have time to explore them throughout your life. But the gift of family is one worth prioritizing. I’m praying God uses these words and this reminder to encourage you today and the place you hold in the lives of children (yours or even those whom you pour into). Your place in their lives cannot be replaced or replicated. So love them well. And allow God to grant fullness and joy as you walk out His design. Purpose is waiting… Thank you to our partners! Awana: Visit TalkAboutDiscipleship.com and use code HANNAH to try Talk About for FREE. Abide: Download Abide Sleep and Pray Meditation today and text my promo code UNEXPECTED to 22433 today to get 25% off!
12/19/202211 minutes, 40 seconds
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Episode 34: Gifts of Influence (Business)

Hello! And welcome back. If you have been following along, you’ll know that over the last two weeks, we have been covering the seven mountains of influence. My hope is that you’ll be able to use this series as a tool for identifying your mountain or mountains of influence and be encouraged! Once you’re able identify your gifts, you’ll be able to be more intentional about using them where you are! Every person has God-given gifts. And because of these, every person is equipped to play a unique part in the body of Christ. Did you know the the Bible says this about gifts… Proverbs 18:16 “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.” KJV Another version says: “A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.” NIV Not only are gifts a blessing to the one who posses them, but they are a potential catalyst to bless the whole world. Talents have the potential to bring you before great men, set you on a stage, make you stand out, reach the masses, and maybe even bring financial blessing. So, what are yours? And what will you do with them when you discover God gave them to YOU, for a time such as this? Today we will be tackling the giant mountain of Business. On its face, business sounds a bit boring. BUT pulling back the curtain on it, I think this area can be one of the most exciting. Especially for creative people who thrive on new ideas. Idea people become entrepreneurs. And entrepreneurs are… well, they are business people! On today’s episode, I’ll share the story of a renowned Christian businessman named RG LeTourneau. His life is transformed once he realized God doesn’t necessarily need another preacher, but needs people in business, too! And while we may not all be large scale business owners, corporate moguls, or even the leading role in someone else's company, we all have a beginning. A start. A calling. Giftings that can take us to the next level..and the next, and the next.. of whatever business you’re passionate about. Perhaps you’re an idea person. So? Come up with great ideas! Learn to delegate the logistics of them. Understand your strengths AND your weaknesses.. then designate those who are more capable of executing (if that isn’t your strong suit)! Again, God doesn’t give gifts for no reason.. and as Bob Goff says, “God also doesn’t compare what He creates”. So don’t look around at all those who have done incredible things and be discouraged. Instead, learn from them what you can, and incorporate your own personal skillsets where you are! The most beautiful part is that you (and many others) can prosper with purpose. Once you understand your work can be a type of ministry to God. You’ll touch lives where you are. You’ll reach those who may never be reached otherwise. Just by living and working in your area of business with integrity and Christian principles. The world won’t be able to ignore the fruit that comes from your labor. So today, I pray this reminder finds you where you are and reminds you of exactly that. God doesn’t need everyone to be preachers. He needs businessmen (and women), too. Just like He needs all manor of people to act as the body of Christ in the world.. Bringing light to the darkness of this world… Thank you to our sponsors!  Thistle Farms: Go to ThistleFarms.org and enter the code unexpected to receive 15% off your order!  Awana: Visit TalkAboutDiscipleship.com and use code HANNAH to try Talk About for FREE.
12/12/202219 minutes, 28 seconds
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Episode 33: Gifts of Influence (Arts and Entertainment)

Welcome back to our Gifts of Influence series! Here during the holidays madness, I thought it would be a great time to reflect on the gifts God has given each of us! Using the Seven Mountains of Influence as a tool, my hope is that you’ll all be able to identify your mountain or mountains of influence and how you can can be intentional about using them where you are! Every person has God-given gifts. And because of these gifts, every person is equipped to play a part in the body of Christ. Just as a little refresher, I’ll name the seven Mountains of Influence that inspired this series. They are Media, Education, Family, Business, Arts & Entertainment, Religion, and Government. Today, we’ll be covering a big one: Arts & Entertainment. According to generals.org : “In this mountain we find some of the most influential forces shaping our society. Music, filmmaking, television, social media, and the performing arts drive the cultural tastes, values, and standards of a nation’s citizens, particularly its youth. With a heavy reliance on the strong appeal of sex, drugs and alcohol, the arts and entertainment industries wield significant influence. The body of Christ needs powerful righteous men and women who are not afraid to take their God-given talent into the arts and entertainment arenas. People ready to further His purposes, while impacting those who are lost in darkness and would not otherwise be interested in any kind of Christian message in traditional forms.” I love that last bit… “impacting those who are lost in darkness and would not otherwise be interested in any kind of Christian message in traditional forms.” I personally believe this is why Arts & Entertainment is one of the most important arenas (at least for younger generations)… It’s the place that holds the most potential for bringing God’s presence into the lives of those who may not experience it any other way. It’s the mountain that touches those who often run from or simply have no interest in God. They prefer, rather, to be engulfed in world; pop-culture, relevant hot-topics, and the lifestyles of the famous. It makes sense that this is the mountain where we can most deeply effect the lives of the coming generations. This particular sphere of influence is one that gets to take the world stage more often than many of the others. After all, entertainment belongs on a platform. It’s crucial, then, for those who possess these gifts to understand their role in it. It’s tricky, too. Because if you’re really really extraordinary at what you do… chances are, the world will elevate you. I’ve noticed that many who posses God-given gifts in the arts & entertainment sphere are the very ones who ‘make it’ in the secular world. I’m not saying this is bad thing. On the contrary, the bigger the audience, the greater the opportunity to share the Gospel. However, the other side of that coin is that many other things can come with a certain level of success: fame, money, pride… and ultimately any major form of distraction the world could throw at a person. This is why I said it can get tricky. Unless you have a solid foundation AND continue to fix your eyes on Jesus above all else, it can be easy to get lost in it all. I say this not to discourage any of you from stepping fully into this sphere of influence, but rather to remind you how you got there in the first place and, ultimately, as a reminder of why you’re there, too! To bring light into dark places. Matthew 5:14 reminds us: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”. And that is exactly what your life will be like on the mountain of Arts & Entertainment… Thank you to our sponsors!  Awana: Visit TalkAboutdiscipleship.com and use code HANNAH to start your two free months. Abide: Download Abide Sleep and Pray Meditation today and text my promo code UNEXPECTED to 22433 today to get 25% off!
12/5/202218 minutes, 46 seconds
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Episode 32: Gifts of Influence (Media)

As overwhelming as this season can become, I thought it would fun to turn the stress of shopping and gifting into something more positive. The gifts I’m talking about are ones we can offer the world all the time, just by living out the talents God has given each of us! Whether we realize it or not, we all have really special things to offer the kingdom of God. As the fire began to burn more deeply in me to DO something for God, I began to evaluate what I could even bring to the table. To be very honest…initially, I felt like there weren’t many job-openings in God’s kingdom for a stay-at-home-mom. Sadly, I feel like this is something many Christians can relate to. We let little lies settle in like “Who am I to do that?” Or “Im just a _____, I could never do what they do…” It’s like we get stuck thinking the only quote-unquote qualified people who really make a difference are preachers or evangelist…and that’s just not the case! Today, I wanted to share a concept I learned about a few years ago that helped change my perspective on this. And…since it helped me, I figured…chances are good this could help someone else, too! You may or may not have heard about this concept before. It’s called the Seven Mountains of Influence. In essence, these are the seven facets of society that have the MOST influence. The exciting part is that we ALL fall into one (or several) of these categories. Now, I’m a very practical thinker so having categories to look at immediately made me feel like I DID have a space to make a difference. So, without further adieu, want to hear what they are?? They are: Government, Education, Family, Business, Arts & Entertainment, Media, and Religion. I mean…its genius! And so simple. Of course we all have a place. Of course we ALL have a role to play. We are, after all, the body of Christ. We can’t all be preachers! And while God does give us a list of special giftings in the Bible, known as the Grace-Gifts of Christ: Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers..(see Ephesians 4:11), chances are, we aren’t going to feel like we fall into one of those categories. I’ll jump into those gifts another time, because they are wonderful and worth learning about. But again, words like apostle and prophet and preacher are a bit intimidating. I prefer to look for the more practical ways our gifts can serve. And that is exactly why the seven mountains of influence was such an eye opener for me. It gave me a jumping off point. It allowed me to ask myself what group (or groups) I fell into. And then, I could review even more closely the things I brought in those areas that were unique to me. For example. I knew I was a stay at home mom and felt very much that my fist sphere of influence was the Family. But beyond that, I knew God had given me a gift for writing, art, and photography. I also saw God had given me a platform on social media (because of my husband, who’s career is on a world stage). The more I mulled it over, I thought, well… I can influence my family for Christ AND I can use arts/entertainment to encourage others in the media sphere. In a weird way, it was like using a key to crack the code of how to use the natural Gifts God gave me. Not just how to use them but where to use them, too! With allll of this in mind, my hope is that this series equips you to look at your own gifts to see how and where you can live for Him…influencing the Kingdom in ways only You can! After all, it is the season for gifts! So, lets start right off the bat today with a big one: Media… Thank you to our sponsors! Awana: Try one FREE month with promo code: HANNAH on TalkAboutDiscipleship.com. Thistle Farms: ThistleFarms.org created a special code–unexpected–that will give you 15% off when you enter it at checkout.
11/21/202217 minutes, 53 seconds
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Episode 31: Interview with Franni Rae Cash Cain (Pt. 2)

This week on Unexpected is the second half of my conversation with my sweet friend, Franni Cash Cain! Franni is the one and only female in the award winning Christian group, We The Kingdom. In the first half of our two part conversation, we dove into Franni’s story beginning in her early years. (If you haven’t caught it, go back and give it a listen)! With an uncanny gift for song and a love of all things creative, she takes us through her life…including years of unexpected trauma that left her reeling. Listen in to find out exactly how God worked in the darkest season… bringing healing through music. Like so many of us, God works Franni’s story into one hope after loss and joy after heartache.. tune in to this second half to catch all of the lessons learned along the way! Thank you to our sponsors! Awana: Try one FREE month with promo code: HANNAH on TalkAboutDiscipleship.com
11/14/202236 minutes, 46 seconds
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Episode 30: Interview with Franni Rae Cash Cain (Pt. 1)

This week on Unexpected I sit down for a visit with my incredible friend, Franni Cash Cain! Franni is the one and only female in the award winning Christian group, We The Kingdom. In this first half of our two part conversation, we dive into Franni’s story beginning in her early years. With an uncanny gift for song and a love of all things creative, she takes us through her life…including years of unexpected trauma that left her reeling. Listen in to find out exactly how God worked in the darkest season… bringing healing through music. Thank you to our sponsors! Awana: Try one FREE month with promo code: HANNAH on TalkAboutDiscipleship.com Abide: Download Abide Sleep and Pray Meditation today by texting my promo code UNEXPECTED to 22433 today to get 25% off! The Chosen: For more information, visit TheChosenTickets.com.
11/7/202246 minutes, 13 seconds
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Episode 29: The Story of Sarah

I really prayed on what story to share today. As I prayed, I kept feeling pulled to the story of Sarah. As soon as God told me who, I knew exactly what I was to share about her. It’s not just any part of her story, but a part that nobody talks about. So as I went back to refresh myself on the details, all I could think was…. Sarah lived through things many women have lived through. Shame, confusion, and (very likely) a sense of inadequacy. Before I jump right into her story, I’ll piece in a little of my own. I think it’s important to understanding why I read Sarah’s story and saw things in it that might be overlooked by others. Let me explain… I’ve made reference (in past episodes) to a season of my life that was full of heaviness. Though I don’t like to dwell, I do like to hold onto the reminder that that season grew me in important ways. Along with that growth, though, came a lot of wounding. Some of the wounds were consequences of my own actions, but some were also out of my control. I think that’s a hard truth many people live with today. The understanding that we could have made better choices or avoided situations that ultimately hurt us. But I also think there can be a lot of confusion around circumstances out of our control.. and that nagging notion that maybe, just maybe, there was something we could have done to avoid those life-impacting wounds. For me, a choice I made was to be in a relationship with someone I knew wasn’t right for me. Before long, I felt isolated and trapped in an abusive situation. I didn’t know how to escape. It felt far from my own control. It went on for years before I found the courage to remove myself. And before I started doing a lot of healing work with the Lord, that season held a lot of shame. There was grief, and anger, and resentment, but mostly, there was a heavy sense of shame that I let it happen or even let it continue. Now, because I DO have firsthand experience, I can say with all sincerity that those feelings of guilt, shame, or inadequacy are ones that satan loves to wield against us. If we let him. Thankfully, for me, God led me out of that season. Like coming out of a black tunnel by following a pinprick of light that got bigger as I drew closer to it… He pulled me out of it with a knowing that He wanted more for me. I’m so grateful for that. And I’m grateful for those who prayed over my heart during that time. And even though I was able to come out of it with renewed strength in Christ, I can also see how people could hold onto those wounds for years. Grasping in the dark for the ‘why’. Wrestling with feelings of worthlessness. Unknowingly letting the enemy keep them in the dark, whispering “you did this to yourself” or “nobody will love someone as broken as you”. I could see how the enemy would do his best to use every one of these lies against someone to keep them from their calling. I’m not saying I didn’t wrestle with these thoughts on occasion, but what I did have was a foundation on the one true God. He was the one wrapping me in light and whispering the truth of who HE said I was to combat the lies… So today, I wanted to do the same for anyone out there who has yet to escape the darkness of their own past. I hope and pray the story of Sarah will be just the reminder you need.. As I reflect on her life and the way God chose her and used her anyway, I’m reminded how much more He can use those of us who have also felt trapped by the past. By feelings the enemy brings up over and over again to try to keep you from answering God’s call. So today, I want to encourage you. God’s grace cover’s shame, and His love redeems and restores your story. Surrender those wounds to him and walk in the freedom He offers…. Thank you to our sponsors!  Talk About from Awana: Try one FREE month with promo code: HANNAH on TalkAboutDiscipleship.com. The Chosen: For more information, visit TheChosenTickets.com.
10/31/202216 minutes, 17 seconds
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Episode 28: Salt and Light

If you’ve listened to many of these episodes, you’ll probably have noticed that I mention salt and light…a lot. They are familiar references within the church. Well, I knew this, and you probably know this, too. But a few years ago I went on a deep dive because I really wanted to see why these elements are referenced SO much in the Bible. It must have been a Holy Spirit prompting because I was amazed by what I discovered. I think you will be, too. Not only are salt and light beautiful visuals, but they are incredibly practical. Not just practical but, surprisingly, common. God has taken very common elements and given them deep, rich symbolism. It just goes to show God’s intentionality. He’s in every tiny detail! Before I get too ahead of myself, I’ll read one of the most famous passages about salt and light. Even though the entire Bible is full of references to both, this particular bit is more than a reference and more of an outright example of how we are to live and be. The qualities of these elements are a direct parallel of what our lives should look like when living for Christ. The speaker here is Jesus. And the context is that He is giving his most famous sermon on the mount. He began with the “The Beatitudes”… and follows immediately with Matthew 5:13-16 about salt and light. Though they are mentioned back to back, I’m going to try to break up the verses in this episode so we can really focus on each element… I really believe that once we grasp how pivotal Light is as a part of God’s nature, the more deeply we will understand our role as His children who bring His light into the world. Too often, we underestimate, the impact our little lights can make in the world. So today, I wanted to remind you just how important it can be. Let me tell you about a single flame. Studies find that in complete darkness, the human eye can see a single flame from well over a mile away. (Some even say up to miles and miles if you’re like me and need binoculars to see anything)! That, to me, is a powerful reminder. So when you start to feel that you are only one person and your flame is quite small, remember that it could be your little light that others are being drawn to. From miles around. It could be yours that makes the difference. They may be the most common of elements, but God loves using the ordinary in unexpected ways. After all, aren’t the most familiar things to us the ones we deem inadequate for monumental tasks? Nothing is too inadequate for God to use. So the next time you read about salt or light.. or you hear a reference to them.. I hope you’ll remember how richly God designed those elements. And how richly you can display them to the world. And I’ll end with one more neat little fact: in Biblical times, it was common to put salt on the wick of a lamp to increase its brightness. What a beautiful metaphor for how our lives should be. Adding flavor to the body of Christ. Preserving truths and increasing brightness. And that is my prayer today. I ask God to let our lives be like salt in a generation that needs Truth more than ever. And I pray that all who hear these words are encouraged to be salt and light in your own homes and communities. Bringing purity, truth, and wisdom to every encounter and every life you meet along the way…bringing about a thirst in others for the Lord! Light your flames, sweet friends, and shine brilliantly - for Him. Thank you to our sponsors!  Cru: Text BIBLES to 71326 or visit give.cru.org/Unexpected. BetterHelp: Visit BetterHelp.com/unexpected today to get 10% off your first month
10/24/202213 minutes, 49 seconds
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Episode 27: Unexpected Answers to Earnest Prayers

I heard it said once that there is no such thing as an original artist or creator. God is, after all, the one who created everything we know and use and see. Therefore, we are only re-creators of what He has already made… notes into melodies, colors into paintings, landscapes into photographs, words into poems… In a sense, we are only capturing a single variation of His his endless masterpiece; creation. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that God is equally as creative in His answering of prayers. I should clarify, too, that when I talk about prayer, I am talking about earnest and fervent prayer. Not just some passing request tossed up like penny in a wishing well. God isn’t a personal genie or a slot machine of gambling to meet your needs. Prayer is a beautiful part of the relationship we share with God. It is the line of communication by which we talk to Him, worship Him, thank Him, confess to Him, and truly, to petition for His increasing presence in our lives. What many people don’t realize is that we can and should ask God how He wants us to pray. Many have likely never considered asking what He wants to say to us in our prayer time! It is a relationship like any other, involving two sides of communication. How surprised people would be if they only began asking God to speak to them rather than sending up a laundry list of their own personal needs! God desires intimacy with all of his children. And prayer is where it begins. I suppose I was well into my adult years before I realized much of what I just shared. I mostly went to God when I was heartbroken enough to ask for His comfort. Otherwise I was praying for loved ones. But the idea of a two-way relationship was never really on my radar. I grew up in church and even knew the Lord’s prayer by heart. But it wasn’t until my relationship deepened that God began revealing more and more about who He was and what a daily relationship with Him could look like. In many ways, its just as simple as I tell my children it is… you just talk to God. Any time, any place. And here’s another discovery I made. The Lord’s Prayer? The one I mentioned knowing by heart (and often even praying aloud with my team after ballgames)? That prayer is actually known as the model for prayer. I’m sure at some point, I had heard this but had never made the connection until I began to earnestly study the Bible. Jesus actually gives us this prayer as an example of how to effectively pray! Starting with Matthew 6:5, I”ll read the whole passage including an extra line or two through verse 15 The entire prayer can be broken down by line. But the verse that sticks out most powerfully to me is verse 10.. You may be most familiar with the version that says: Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Now, in years’ past, I’d never never given this line much thought. What’s incredible though, is that it means that our most effective prayers are the ones that come into alignment with God’s will in heaven. In other words, God has a will and a design for us down here on earth. He has plans and purpose. Our job is to come into agreement with what those things are. When we pray God’s heart, it brings heaven to earth. How beautiful is that?! We play a part in God’s plans. We get to partner with Him to bring about His kingdom here. Like I said earlier, God is the ultimate creator of all and has infinite ways of answering earnest prayers. He loves to use the unexpected, I think, because it expresses not only His sovereignty, but also His creative nature. If you don’t believe me, just let me give you one of many examples of God’s answering in my life. On today’s episode, I share a story in hopes of encouraging you that there are real answers to earnest prayers. Thank you to our sponsors! Abide: Download Abide Sleep and Pray Meditation today by texting my promo code UNEXPECTED to 22433 today to get 25% off! Awana: Try one FREE month with promo code: HANNAH on TalkAboutDiscipleship.com.
10/17/202216 minutes, 1 second
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Episode 26: Rejection

Rejection. We have all felt it. It seems to be an inescapable offshoot of humanity’s brokenness. And while each of us will have had different experiences with it, it’s there and it will eventually leave its mark. And because every person does experience rejection, I truly believe the enemy strikes us here more than any other place. Why? Because experiencing enough rejection can kill a calling. And satan would love nothing more than to pile it on early and often. The easiest time to kill something, after all, is in its infancy… Rejection begins in childhood. And it can take on so many forms. For some, there may be a form of rejection within the family, (even if you had a wonderful childhood, rejection can sneak in unbeknownst simply based off of circumstances beyond your control). For example: many grow up in a single parent household.. and those children may absorb that absence as rejection. For others, it could be parents with work schedules that keep them away more often than home. Again, these aren’t unusual circumstances! Its typical to have working parents, (and I’ll add that it’s great for kids to see a hard work ethic). However, the enemy loves to slide into these absences and start planting that seed where he can… rejection. Maybe the parents don’t make all of the ballgames or school functions…and deep down, that child begins to believe they aren’t a priority. See how sneaky this can be? And how early it begins! Some may have grown up with parents who place a lot of emphasis on performance. These children may develop a sense of striving for fear of rejection. Then, at some point, our children will enter into the big old world. As a mom of a brand new kindergartener, I have never been more painfully aware of all of the ways my little boy can feel the sting of rejection. From childhood on, rejection goes with you and grows with you. From family and school, it graduates into college, relationships, and working life experiences. A heart full of rejection can wreak lifelong havoc. I guess I wanted to share a few of my own experiences to remind those listening that truly, nobody is exempt from encountering rejection. But in the midst of it, I also hope to share some lessons God has revealed to me through it. The very first thing He reminded me of was that I wasn’t alone in experiencing rejection. In fact… Jesus is the very picture of one who was rejected by many. Did you know that Jesus humbled himself to take on human flesh and be born a man in this world so that he could experience what we experience? There is nothing we experience today that Jesus didn’t take on flesh to experience and then defeat (when he went to the cross). Now, I’m not saying this to compare my rejection to Jesus, AT ALL. No. What I am saying is God knew that humanity couldn’t fully relate to Him unless He gave us an example. Unless He came in human form to experience what humanity experiences. And that’s what He did in Jesus. Jesus is God - made flesh. He came to live as a man, but unlike man, He was perfect and lived perfectly. And despite being perfect, He STILL felt the stings of a very broken world. I believe God knew there would be comfort in that. In understanding Jesus loved us enough to come to earth so that His children would know that “He, too felt these things we feel…”. On today’s episode, I’ll read Luke 4:16-30 to share one of many times Jesus is rejected. I’ll also point out a few lessons we can learn from how he responds.. Today, I pray everyone under the sound of my voice asks God to bring healing in any areas of rejection. I pray that hearts will soften. I pray that striving will cease. And I pray you’ll take back what the enemy has tried to steal, kill, and destroy from your life. I ask God to replace those experiences… bring restoration, life, and joy abundant! In Jesus’ precious name, I pray…Amen. Thank you to our sponsor, Cru! Text BIBLES to 71326 or visit give.cru.org/Unexpected. 
10/10/202215 minutes, 50 seconds
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Episode 25: Conservative Parenting (Pt. 2 with Catherine Nail & Erica Bankston)

Parenting. In this day and age, fewer things can seem as intimidating. And the last time I checked, kiddos don’t come with manuals! What we do have, however, is God’s word as a guide. And what we also have is parents who have gone before us to share wisdom and experience (so we don’t have to learn it ALL the hard way). Today’s episode is a continuation of my conversation with Erica Bankston and Catherine Nail. We discuss conservative parenting, answer questions, and sprinkle in a few tips (and a lot of laughs) along the way! Though none of us claim to be experts, we each bring our own set of experiences and skill sets to the table to tackle this intimidating topic. Catherine Nail is a wife and mother of 3 beautiful children (a set of whom are twins)! She has a background in childhood education, owns and operates an event planning business, and (most impressively to me) navigates a packed schedule with her almost seven year old twins and 18 month old daughter. Erica Bankston is a wife and mother of three as well! Ranging from 12 and 11 year old girls, to a 5 year old little cowboy, Erica can speak to ages and stages I have yet to enter into! She co-owns a brokerage, runs and operates a marketing team, and still manages to mom SO hard with her three precious kiddos. In this part 2 episode, we continue to cover some often-asked questions by parents in the thick of it. Each of us deeply believe in a foundation built on a Biblical World view. My prayer is that this conversation is full of gracious truth, wisdom, and encouragement to those navigating parenting in such a divisive climate. So, sit down with us, put on your walking shoes, or buckle up in your car as we launch into topics many seem too afraid to touch in a cancel culture world! Thank you to our sponsor! Talk About™ – the family discipleship subscription from Awana. Try one FREE month with promo code: HANNAH on TalkAboutDiscipleship.com. 
10/3/20221 hour, 48 seconds
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Episode 24: Conservative Parenting (Pt. 1 with Catherine Nail & Erica Bankston)

Parenting. In this day and age, fewer things can seem as intimidating. And the last time I checked, kiddos don’t come with manuals! What we do have, however, is God’s word as a guide. And what we also have is parents who have gone before us to share wisdom and experience (so we don’t have to learn it ALL the hard way). On today’s episode, I sit down with Erica Bankston and Catherine Nail to discuss conservative parenting, answer questions, and sprinkle in a few tips (and laughs) along the way! Though none of us claim to be experts, we each bring our own set of experiences and skill sets to the table.. Catherine Nail is a wife and mother of 3 beautiful children (a set of whom are twins)! She has a background in childhood education, owns and operates an event planning business, and (most impressively to me) navigates a packed schedule with her almost seven year old twins and 18 month old daughter. Erica Bankston is a wife and mother of three as well! Ranging from 12 and 11 year old girls, to a 5 year old little cowboy, Erica can speak to ages and stages I have yet to enter into! She co-owns a brokerage, runs and operates a marketing team, and still manages to mom SO hard with her three precious kiddos. In this part 1 episode, we tiptoe into the waters of some often-asked questions by parents in the thick of it. Each of us deeply believe in a foundation built on a Biblical World view. My prayer is that this conversation is full of gracious truth, wisdom, and encouragement to those navigating parenting in such a divisive climate. So, sit down with us, put on your walking shoes, or buckle up in your car as we launch into topics many seem too afraid to touch in a cancel culture world! Thank you to our sponsors: Cru: Text BIBLES to 71326 to help now or visit give.cru.org/Unexpected!  BetterHelp: Visit BetterHelp.com/UNEXPECTED today to get 10% off your first month.
9/26/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 53 seconds
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Episode 23: You Need Rest

Over the years, I’ve written out many reflective moments, (oftentimes as captions on social media). It is, after all, a timestamp of thoughts and images. So, occasionally, I’ll go back. I’ll read through and remember. Sometimes, I go back and am even encouraged by the very words I forgot I’d written. Going back to re-read the other day, I noticed a theme: Rest. As I have been feeling the call to rest, recently, I’m certain that this is no coincident but rather, a gentle reminder from God. And since I love to speak to personal topics, I can also see how God might be asking me to share with Y’all some of what He has shown me on the subject. It’s obvious God has to remind me over and over to take rest! And, as any of you multitasking folks out there may know, that can feel like a really hard, really selfish thing to do. Especially if you are a primary caregiver or provider for your family!! I mean, who has time, right? Even as I’m writing this, I can hear myself saying to Shay over the years, “I don’t have time to be sick. There’s too much to do!”. But the ironic part is, we WILL become sick if we don’t allow ourselves this practice. Even if we are able to stay physically well, our soul’s need rest. And a second takeaway is this: God models this for us on the 7th day (by making time for it). After He made creation, He rested. And, I daresay, God didn’t actually need the rest because He is God! No, I believe He shared this with us as an example of what He knew we ourselves would need. In fact, the Bible even tells us in Mark 2:27: “The Sabbath was made for the sake of people, and not people for the Sabbath.” Can you believe that? Honestly, the first time I read that, I couldn’t believe it was so clearly recorded for us! God knew we would be busy. He knew we would strive. He knew we would try to control and create and work towards infinite “next steps” in life! That’s why He gave us this principal. Not only to save us from ourselves, but to bring us back to Him. That is and will only ever be the place we find rest for our souls. In God. Countless verses speak of it. Matthew 11:28 may be one of the most famous of them: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” It is not just a physical stillness, but a discipline of stilling your spirit long enough to hear what He wants to say to you. Read His word. Give Him time. Make the time. And He’ll give it back. As much as it sounds like an oxymoron, making time for God is how our very lives become filled! Rest is a gift. One that God desires for all of His children. It isn’t just a luxury or a long sleep. It’s a stillness you’re giving to Him. This is your invitation. I didn’t want to go another day without stepping back into this space and encouraging everyone who hears this... allow time for rest. And give God the time. Because He will give it back. In ways you couldn’t dream of, He will pour into your life for your asking, your seeking, and your knocking. Rest, sweet friends. Let God answer. Let Him multiply the very joy you thought you lost because you are too tired to find it on your own. If you’ll indulge me during our time today, I’ll share a couple of pieces I have written through the years on the subject of rest. I’ll begin with this: Thank you to our sponsor, Awana! Try one FREE month with promo code: HANNAH on TalkAboutDiscipleship.com
9/19/202210 minutes, 47 seconds
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Episode 22: The In-Between

Thank you to our sponsor Cru! Text BIBLES to 71326 to help now or visit give.cru.org/Unexpected. 
9/12/202215 minutes, 53 seconds
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Episode 21: When the Bible Comes to Life, So Do You

I grew up loving to read. Now, part of this could be because my mom was a teacher. And another part of this could be because our generation wasn’t technically a part of the technology age until we were in our teens. Tablets, smartphones, and streaming apps weren’t a part of my childhood (thankfully)! Anyway, I grew up lovinnnng books. I could read for hours on end. It was like stepping into the pages and traveling to different worlds with new friends. In high school (and even into college) I got into reading romance novels. Who doesn’t love stories of unlikely romance and handsome heroes?! Anyway, there did come a point when I began to feel convicted about reading them. I still loved the plot lines and thrill of romance, but I was beginning to ache for stories that had something deeper. Perhaps in parallel with my own life, I was wanting to read about women who were pursued by men who had hearts for God. It was around this time I discovered one of my favorite authors: Francine Rivers. As I made it my mission to read every book she had written, I began to notice two different types of stories she wrote. Half of them were completely fiction (still with underlying Godly themes). The other half were based around Biblical characters that we know today. This was, perhaps, the first time I began seeing the Bible as a book full of real people. I know that sounds silly, as I am a firm believer in the Inerrant truth of the Bible. But the fact remained, up to that point, I had often read the stories in Sunday school without really thinking beyond the words on the pages. They were just, well, stories! But then, I began reading a series called “A Lineage Of Grace”. In it were the stories of five women in the Bible (some of whom I’ve had episodes on). Each woman was a part of the lineage of Jesus. What was so beautiful about these stories, though, was the skillful way Francine Rivers transported you into their lives. It was riveting and eye opening. But most importantly, what it did was give me a new lens through which to read the Bible. It feels like a roundabout way of saying this, but until my early to mid twenties, I didn’t exactly look forward to reading the Bible. And I was a reader! But this.. this beautiful perspective, brought by Francine Rivers, was a lightbulb moment for the reader in me. It made me want to start over reading the Bible. This time, more slowly. This time, I wanted to read it as if I were there. Thus began my journey into the Word of God. Over the years, I’ve been asked how to study the Bible. How to read the Bible. Where do you start? And as much as I’d love to point to resources and study guides, I have to say, for me, it started with this new perspective. Understanding these were real people and these events really happened… they weren’t just Sunday school cartoon characters. Now, that being said, I will say there are practical steps to take. But before I read a single page, the first major step I took was changing the way I thought about the Bible and the people in it. I suppose this was on my heart today because I know that the Bible is the one thing that holds all of the wisdom we’ll ever need in this world. We live in a tumultuous time. We live in a time that many consider new, educated, and more ‘enlightened’ than ancient days. But sweet friends, there is nothing new under the sun. There is nothing that exists now that God didn’t already know would exist. Humanity is as broken today as it was then. And until Jesus returns, true peace will never be known by the world. In the meantime, though, what we can do is equip ourselves with the Word. It will show us truth, expose our rebellion, and correct us in our mistakes so we can live God’s way. This is basis on which we are to live, as Christians. This is what prepares us to go out and be salt and light. Thank you to our sponsor, LifeMark movie! Learn more about it and get your tickets at LifeMarkMovie.com. 
9/5/202212 minutes, 14 seconds
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Episode 20: Getting To…And Walking Through (with Lauren Tomlin Pt. 2)

Listen in to this (Part 2) in depth conversation with the one and only Lauren Tomlin! - She is a wife, a mother, a mentor, and a counselor. But more than any of that, she is a dear friend who continues to champion and challenge me. By the end of this conversation, I’m confident you’ll feel the same! On this week’s episode, we sit down and catch up - diving deeper into the topic of healing! We reflect on our own experiences and encourage everyone listening to do the same. Full of tender moments and vulnerability, this conversation captures the heart of what I believe God wants for all of His children: a deeper intimacy with Him. I’m praying all who listen will lean in to the journey of getting to and walking through life’s pain points…and finding unexpected blessings on the other side.   Thank you to our partners!   - Cru: Text BIBLES to 71326 to help now or visit give.cru.org/Unexpected.  - BetterHelp: This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp! Visit BetterHelp.com/UNEXPECTED today to get 10% off your first month!
8/29/202230 minutes, 43 seconds
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Episode 19: Getting To…And Walking Through - with Lauren Tomlin (Pt. 1)

Lauren Tomlin is a wife, a mother, a mentor, and a counselor. But more than any of that, she is a dear friend who continues to champion and challenge me. By the end of this conversation, I’m confident you’ll feel the same! On this week’s episode, we sit down and catch up - diving deeper into the topic of healing! We reflect on our own experiences and encourage everyone listening to do the same. Full of tender moments and vulnerability, this conversation captures the heart of what I believe God wants for all of His children: a deeper intimacy with Him. I’m praying all who listen will lean in to the journey of getting to and walking through life’s pain points…and finding unexpected blessings on the other side.  Thank you to our partners!  - LifeMark Movie: Learn more about LifeMark and get your tickets today at LifeMarkMovie.com!   - BetterHelp: Our listeners get 10% off their first month at BetterHelp.com/UNEXPECTED
8/22/202234 minutes
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Episode 18: Bold Prayers & Humble Beginnings (Nehemiah’s Story)

Have you ever felt like your position isn’t exactly an impressive one? Maybe your title at work or role at home or within your family has left you feeling…less than. Less than chosen, less than worthy, less than capable, less than seen, or even less than qualified for a ‘more important’ role? If so, I have just the story for you, today! This happens to be one of my favorites because, well, of course, because God shows us once again how He loves to use the most unexpected people to do His greatest works! This is the story of Nehemiah. But, before we get there, I’d love to give you a quick little Bible history. Many of us are familiar with the great exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt. It is the story of Moses, the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, the Ten Commandments and so much more. Even if you aren’t familiar with the Bible, you’ve likely seen the cinematic version on tv around Easter. However, did you know that there is a second great exodus story in the Bible? I delved into studying this last year and was amazed that I had rarely heard mention of this era of the Bible. Hold tight and I’ll drop in a bit of context and then pull in a few passages to shape the scene for you. It really is a fascinating time! (Ezra-Nehemiah) Here’s my wonderful cliff notes version to get us up to speed: Israel had fallen into rebellion once again. For years, God sent prophets to warn the people and declare God’s wrath if they did not repent and turn from their unrighteousness. They refused to listen. Eventually, God promises the total destruction of Israel, scattering the people and turning them into exiles of other lands. But, God also promises that once His wrath has been assuaged, He will bring back a remnant to rebuild Jerusalem. Just as God promised, Jerusalem was destroyed and the people were carried off to serve as exiles under the king of Babylon. (This is, in fact, where we get the book of Daniel along the stories of Shadrach, Meschac, and Abednego. They were all captives taken from the land of Israel). And this brings us up to where we are going in scripture today! After 70 years in captivity, to fulfill prophecy, God moves king Cyrus’s heart (the Babylonian king at the time) to release back the remnant of Jerusalem. All who felt the call to go back to their homeland were permitted to do so. Not only that, but he sent orders out to all the land that they should send supplies and materials and anything else they may need for their journey. Along with the first group to go back was a priest from the tribe of Levi named Ezra. He goes back with the mission of building back the temple so the Jewish people can resume their traditional rituals and worship. Ezra’s story is full of fascinating detail, but today, I’m going to highlight another main character of interest. This man’s name was Nehemiah. Roughly 13 years after Ezra left Babylon to begin rebuilding the temple, a man named Hanani arrives in the city of Susa (part of Babylon) with other men who had been in Judah (Israel). Nehimiah began questioning the men about what they had seen. He asked about Jerusalem and the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile. And so, it is here that I’ll pick up reading in Nehemiah 1… All those centuries ago, I doubt Nehemiah, the humble servant, ever dreamed that he would be leading a mission to build back the walls and fulfill prophecy. So, today, I hope you’ll be encouraged. I hope you’ll hear this message and remember how God could use you, too. Pray bold prayers. Ask God to use you and work through you. You may just be surprised at the courage that bubbles up in unexpected places to launch you into something you could never have imagined for yourself.. Thank you to our partner, Cru! https://bit.ly/UnexpectedCRU
8/15/202214 minutes, 6 seconds
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Episode 17: Healing

Healing. Though I am far from an expert on the matter, I do have experience here. Healing. There’s an ‘ing’ at the end because it’s present tense - still in process, and will be for anyone willing and ready to walk this road. Defined, healing is: the process of making or becoming sound or healthy again. I found another source that described healing in a Biblical sense, saying: Healing occurs through the integrating forces that restore, transform, sustain and nurture the whole person (body, mind, spirit) at each phase and in every dimension of life, and within relationships of the person to the creation, to other people, and to God. I believe the work of counselors and therapists is a wonderful thing. However, I will add that true healing must come from God. And a good counselor is always going to point you to God’s design and use Biblical principles. I’ve mentioned resources my husband and I have used for counseling, not for any outstanding issues, but rather to help us navigate marriage in the music industry. A few years ago, because of crazy schedules and seemingly NO time together, I decided a marriage retreat would be a good idea. I was so excited to dig in and have a few days with Shay working on our hearts. Not only that, but I was excited to hear an outside perspective on our lives and responses. It was actually called an ‘intensive’ week and by the time we finished, I understood why! I won’t go into too much detail, but by the time we came out, I think my husband felt better and I was left in shock at the “chronic trauma” we had uncovered from my past. That was the exact wording used… “chronic trauma”. I couldn’t believe it. Me? With my easy going, calm demeanor? Me? With my fresh-air, idyllic country childhood? Surely not. What’s funny to me now is that I think a lot of people are probably like this! Walking around thinking we are absolutely fine. Nothing to see here! I’m fine. Everything’s fine. But under the surface, there are layers. These layers could look like years of rejection, shame, grief, loneliness, unkindness, exclusion…the list goes on and on. Apparently, my coping mechanism had become numbing. I was (and still can be) very good at compartmentalizing feelings or incidents. I would just turn them off completely and carry on with life. Coping mechanisms may look different for everyone though…in fact, there are so many ways to escape feelings. I would even say that coping often manifests through our behaviors. It could look like escaping through alcohol or substances. Oftentimes, though, it can be a lot more subtle… it could look like binging shows or movies at night just so you don’t have to think. It could look like excessive video gaming. It could look like staying in a continuous cycle of dating and relationships to keep your attention from focusing on your own heart rather than pursuing someone else’s. It could even look like an extravagant social life or working to the point of being a workaholic. All of these behaviors could point to deeper issues that say “I’m coping”. I’m not saying these behaviors always point to outstanding issues. But I am saying, these things can all be indicators that there’s more going on. And there’s work to be done. In this episode, I share personal experiences with healing & describe steps towards reaching it. Today, my prayer is that this lands on hearts ready to heal. I pray you take the first steps towards whole restoration. Acknowledge the need for healing. Invite God in. Be vulnerable enough to go back to painful things. Identify the lie. Reject it. And replace it with the truth of God’s word. I pray you’ll show yourself grace as you begin… And I know, without doubt, God has the freedom of peace on the other side. (Below is a link to a wonderful resource on restoration of the feminine heart)! Captivating Expanded Edition: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul https://a.co/d/ijXfSYN
8/8/202214 minutes, 8 seconds
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Episode 16: Do You Know Who You Are?

Life. It happens in seasons. Just as God appoints times and boundaries for the seasons in a calendar year, I believe that He also appoints a time in our lives for certain seasons to begin and end. They serve a purpose and are a part of a greater whole. For most of my growing up years, I was, for lack of a better word, timid. This is a quality that lasted into my young adult life. As I entered my 20’s, I found myself in a really unhealthy relationship. Worse than that, it was rather abusive. Without going into too much detail, I’ll just call it a season of my life. It served a purpose. And, to be honest, it served as a defining part of my life as I shifted from timid to…determined. Determined not to be a door mat again. Determined not to be used, taken advantage of, or taken for granted. It was, in fact, the first time in my life I asked myself if my situation was one that God would want for His daughter. The answer was a resounding “No”. Of course not. And by that standard, I began to see myself in a new light. By that standard, I started to really consider myself God’s child, a daughter whom He loved and delighted in. This season shaped the perspective I believe God wanted me to have all along. I was a daughter of the King. Beloved and chosen. That leads me to you the question…who are you? Do you know who you are…in God? Knowing the answer to that - really knowing it deep in your heart - it will change your life. Let me give you an example of a few people in the Bible who knew the answer to this profound question. Starting in Daniel, let’s read about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The first chapter notes that one of the first things the Babylonians did was rename the exile boys they had taken captive. It was customary to give new names to slaves. In a nutshell, it reminder that their identity was stripped and this was meant to remind them of the new position in life they found themselves in. Essentially, it was an effort to erase their past. In this passage, there are four Judahites mentioned BY name. Daniel. Hananiah. Mishael. And Azariah. These were their given names at birth. In Hebrew, this is how they translate: Daniel - God is my judge. Hananiah - Yahweh is gracious. Mishael - Who is like God? Azariah - Yahweh has helped. These were some strong names. Immediately, the chef eunuch gave them new names. Belteshazzar - Protect the life of the king. Shadrach - Command of Aku (Babylonian moon god). Meshach - Who is like Aku. Abednego - Servant of Nebo (Babylonian god of wisdom). These new names spoke volumes in terms of what the Babylonian’s intent was. They intended to erase the old identity of these young men and turn them into servants of THEIR culture and their gods. I just wanted to point out this development before we move on. I’ll read the rest of the story through chapter 3. There are so many lessons to pull out of this incredible series of events. But today, I wanted to point out a truth that is so practical. These men knew who they were. More than that, these men never forgot who they were. Facing an outraged king, these men stood before his question “who is the god who can rescue you from my power?”. And their names answered… Yahweh is gracious. Who is like God? Yahweh has helped. And though he was not there, Daniel’s name, meaning “God is my judge” also rang forth from their demeanor. They stood unflinching in the face of radical pressure. Radical politics. Radical culture. They stood, knowing who they were and Whose they were. What a testament. They had no way of knowing God would rescue them, and indeed, they were still thrown in the furnace. But they weren’t alone in it. And they came out unscathed. Not even smelling of smoke. I have to believe that God LOVES standing by His children as they stand in truth. Stand in the knowledge that they are His and, therefore have freedom from the pressures of anything else.
8/1/202215 minutes, 41 seconds
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Episode 15: Words of Life

I was in the car this summer with my sister in law. Wanting some feedback, I asked if there were any themes or topics she’d like to hear about on the podcast. After some thought, she said, “You know… there is something you and I have talked about a lot that I feel like other people need to hear, too. Especially parents”. “What?” I asked. “Speaking words of life over your kids”. She said. I nodded as I knew it was a topic we really did talk about a lot. The power of words. There are probably a lot of books out there on the subject. None of which I’ve claimed to read. But I do know something about it. A few years ago, we went through a phase (as I’m sure most kids do). Every time we corrected our oldest or asked him not to do something, he would go straight to the most negative thought. He would say “I’m bad!” or “I’m mean!”. No amount of saying “No, buddy, you are a good boy!” seemed to be working. After some research and a few parenting articles I discovered this is called “negative self talk”. Essentially, it was his little inner critic coming out…He was four years old and yet here I was reading about an inner critic that was already surfacing! I scoured the internet and tried everything I could think of to change this behavior. One day, I came across an article that described negative self talk in a way that just made sense. Not just logically, but Biblically. See, it is SO important for me to teach and live in a way that aligns with what the Bible tells us. The first step, the article said, was to help him identify that the thought was just a thought and that it was not true. It was, essentially, a lie. So, every time Asher would say something along the lines of, “I’m not good”, I would ask him to stop and think if that was true? Every time, he would say….”no…it’s not”. The next step was to do something with those negative thoughts..something that should elicit a giggle to “get rid of the lie”. So, we decided we would flush those lies down the potty with all the other stinky stuff! Wouldn’t you know, after a few weeks of asking over and over… “Buddy, is that true? Do mommy and daddy think that of you? Does God think that of you?” we slowly stopped hearing that little self critic come out. Isn’t that just like God? To teach you to do the very thing you’re asking your child to do? During these weeks, I felt God ask me…”Are you identifying your own negative thoughts? Don’t you know the enemy is a liar? Is that how I see you, my child? Is that what My word says about who you are?”. Whew… I could cry some days thinking about how good God is to remind us of things He knows we need! Now that God had my attention on the subject, I felt like there was much more to understand about words and the power they hold…. When Jesus gave us the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6, it was meant as an example because his disciples asked Him the way they should pray.. one of the lines in it says “May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Did you know that means you play a part in Gods work when you pray? When you speak aloud God’s promises here on earth as they are in heaven? Because that’s exactly what you’re doing. To speak life…Truth from God, you are partnering with Him to bring heaven to earth. You are coming into agreement with Him and releasing it to earth. Isaiah 55:10-11 says: “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” Whether or not we have enough faith to believe the things we say.. just remember, if God said them to us and about us, then so it is. Believe it. But more than that, speak it. Speak words of life over your home, your children, your family, your marriage. Throw away the lies. Replace them with truths. And watch your life change
7/25/20229 minutes, 57 seconds
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Episode 14: Interview with Shay Mooney (Pt. 2)

If you are tuning in to today’s episode, it is a part 2 from a conversation with my own sweet husband, Shay Mooney! If you haven’t listened to part 1, you mayyy want to go back for a listen before continuing on because we give a lot of context before diving into the second half of our story! Within this episode and really within our story, we cover everything ranging from the early years of marriage, to babies, and careers… and finding what Joy really means in it all. We laugh and cry as we reminisce on the years of lessons and the seasons of growth God has taken us through up to this point! I hope you’ll enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed sharing… here is part 2!
7/18/202244 minutes, 40 seconds
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Episode 13: Interview with Shay Mooney (Pt. 1)

This week on Unexpected, I sit down and visit with someone near and dear to my heart… this man is a husband and a father, a singer and a songwriter, and he is the life of any party. He is Shay Mooney of country music (3 time Grammy award winning) duo Dan + Shay. Oh, and did I mention I’m married to him?! This conversation dives deep into Shay’s early years, his career, and eventually into our life together as husband + wife and mom + dad… We welcome you to sit in on this intimate conversation as we walk through years of the unexpected…choices we made, and foundations laid by our own families that helped us make them. We laugh and we cry… and hopefully, we point out a few lessons learned along the way! Buckle up for this two-part episode. It’s going to be good! My prayer for anyone listening is that you, too, can see how God has worked in the unexpected areas of your own life..
7/11/202239 minutes, 9 seconds
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Episode 12: Esther (Pt. 2)

In this episode, I read the second half of the book of Esther… Esther is FULL of everything we may find in a blockbuster movie today! An orphan turned queen. Palace intrigue. A plot to kill the king. And a daring move from the heroin herself to save her people from destruction. This book is one you won’t want to miss! Esther is one of only two books in the Bible named after a woman, and amazingly, it is the ONLY book that doesn’t mention God specifically. That does not mean, however, we don’t see His hand throughout this incredible (true) story! I hope you’ll stay tuned and enjoy both parts 1 & 2 as I read the entire book. I’ll then pull out lessons applicable to most (if not all) of us, today 🤍 Now close your eyes and enjoy as the story unfolds…
7/4/202220 minutes, 49 seconds
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Episode 11: Esther (Pt. 1)

In this episode, I read the first half of the book of Esther… Esther is FULL of everything we may find in a blockbuster movie today! An orphan turned queen. Palace intrigue. A plot to kill the king. And a daring move from the heroin herself to save her people from destruction. This book is one you won’t want to miss! Esther is one of only two books in the Bible named after a woman, and amazingly, it is the ONLY book that doesn’t mention God specifically. That does not mean, however, we don’t see His hand throughout this incredible (true) story! I hope you’ll stay tuned and enjoy both parts 1 & 2 as I read the entire book. I’ll then pull out lessons applicable to most (if not all) of us, today 🤍 Now close your eyes and enjoy as the story unfolds…
6/27/202216 minutes, 33 seconds
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Episode 10: Distractions…And What Jesus Says About Them

As I sat down to write this episode, I mentally reviewed a list of struggles and themes I feel like we all struggle with. Well, I was reading in Luke and as I continued to pray on the topic, I noticed a word that kept cropping up. Distraction. So today, instead of recounting one specific story from the Bible, I thought I would tie in several different passages to reinforce this particular topic. Within a few chapters in the book of Luke, I noticed three different references to distractions as well as the different types of distractions we face. So, forgive me if today’s episode sounds a bit like bullet points! But for the sake of making each point relatable, I’ll also add in a personal note or experience for each. If you’re in the mood for a lesson today, you’ve landed on the right episode! If you’re taking notes today, here is your first point: God doesn’t want you to be distracted by your past. I’ve never met someone who is an exception to this, (except for maybe newborns because they don’t have a past to pull from yet)! At some point or another in our lives, we are all guilty of letting our past dictate our choices, define our present, or distract from our future. The end of Luke chapter 9:61-62 say this: “Still another said to him, “Lord, I want to follow you too. But first let me go home and say good-bye to my entire family.” Jesus responded, “Why do you keep looking backward to your past and have second thoughts about following me? When you turn back you are useless to God’s kingdom realm.” I think it’s important to note here that rather than focusing on Jesus’ rebuke, this tiny piece is more about the larger lesson Jesus is pointing out. The past can not only distract you from the future, but remedy you “useless to God’s kingdom realm”. Not only that, but Jesus even says that “looking backward to your past”…can make you “have second thoughts about following” him! That is a pretty powerful statement. I can tell you from experience that there are some seasons in my past that, although I’m thankful for how I grew in them, I wouldn’t want to keep going back to that time and that headspace. Dwelling on mistakes, on hurt, on shame? That holds NO benefit for you! Furthermore, going back to the past over and over acts as miracle grow for doubts about who you are NOW and what you’re capable of NOW. Not just now, but on into the future! So that is the first takeaway today… God doesn’t want you to be distracted by the past! The next point is this: God doesn’t want you to be so distracted by busyness that you miss Him. That you miss seeing how He’s speaking and moving in your life. That you miss lessons and moments He has gifted to you specifically! If you’re waiting for the biblical tie-in…I’ll read about it here, in Luke 10: 38-42 TPT… And your final bullet point for the day is this: God doesn’t want you to be distracted by others. Luke 10:1-4 TPT reinforces this… I thought this was the perfect point to end on today. Being distracted by the lives of other people may be the most prevalent issue we ALL deal with. Because of social media, our exposure to others is limitless and the temptation to compare is human nature. But God knew that and warned against it even in Biblical times. Specifically, Jesus said, “Don’t get so distracted from my purpose by anyone that you might meet along the way..” So often, we look around at the race other people run. It may look like a successful business, ministry, or family life. It may look grander and more exciting than what lies before you. But the fact of the matter is, God gave you your own race to run. It won’t look like everyone else’s and it shouldn’t. Today, I pray God draws your attention to whatever area of distraction you may be dealing with. I pray that He not only exposes it, but grants the discipline to become Undistracted by anything not of Him. I pray He opens the right doors, closes the wrong ones, and gives you the discernment you need to pursue Him…
6/20/202212 minutes, 59 seconds
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Happy Father's Day from That Sounds Fun Network!

Happy Father's Day from That Sounds Fun Network & Unexpected! Today we have a special bonus episode to share with you celebrating dads & all we love about them. In this episode, hosts from all different That Sounds Fun Network shows -- including me -- share what we love about our dads/and advice about being a dad. ALSO! Our friends over at Storyworth are giving away TWO free subscriptions for our TSF Network listeners! To enter: visit thatsoundsfunnetwork.com & enter your email in the pop-up. That's it! Good luck & Happy Father's Day!
6/19/202223 minutes, 32 seconds
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Episode 9: Obedience (Jonah's story)

Since my first trip to the ocean as a little girl, I’ve loved chasing shells. Searching eyes as the waves roll and retreat. It becomes a chase. You catch a glimpse and step further to grab ahold. Isn’t it funny though? Before you know it, you look up and you’re a long distance from where you began. So often for me, God’s speaks through the rhythms of nature. His creation parallels His truth. Like chasing shells. With one step at a time, searching for the flash of what you hope to find. Just as we seek after God. One step at a time. Through the waves, our eyes are stayed on Him. And before you know it, you’re further and deeper in pursuit of Him. It’s a beautiful reminder not to be overwhelmed. In years past, I remember feeling like the gap between us was too far. But over the years, God has been good to remind me that He only asks for one small step at a time. Conversely, we can also drift in pursuit of things that take us further from God and His truth... with small choices over time resulting in a great distance of your heart from His desires for you. So today, I ask you to reflect on where your steps are taking you. Are you chasing the shells God has laid before you? Or are you following things that draw you away... This seems to be the great tension of our lives.. choosing things (in obedience) that contradict world logic. Oftentimes the hardest things ARE unseen. The choices made and the fight to honor them go largely unnoticed...until those moments of obedience make you stand out from the crowd. That’s hard, too, in today’s society. To stand up for something that doesn’t make sense because it goes against everything our culture praises. But, sweet friends, I want to remind you that you aren’t alone in it. Choosing Obedience to God has been a fight through the ages. Every story in the Bible is there because a person or nation chose obedience or disobedience and they all serve as examples to us because of it. Today, however I thought I would tie in an old bedtime favorite… it seemed especially fitting since I imagine there was a beach with sand somewhere in this story (which is how really how we began this whole conversation)! Anyway, this is this story of Jonah… I know Jonah’s story seems dramatic. But I kind of love that so many Bible stories are. They really happened and they really teach us through their lives, their mistakes, and their learned lessons. And for any of you thinking, “It would be way easier to obey God if he gave me a personal directive like he did to Jonah..” That may be so, BUT here is another reminder. God speaks in many ways. If you’re unsure of what He’s saying, there’s a manual that always holds His principles and His truths. That’s the Bible. It lays out wrongs and rights, cause and effects, AND is full of wisdom to live by. Obedience won’t always be some big personal mission like going to preach to a whole evil city like Nineveh. Obedience can be as simple as living your life by Biblical truths. In fact, it is that simple. One step at a time like the seashells I used to chase in the waves. Remember… inner obedience may be the hardest choice, but it will always yield the harvest of a blessed life. It only takes one step at a time. Today, I pray that our paths are directed by obedient hearts. And I pray that all who hear these words ask for the wisdom to seek peace over pride, insight over influence, and grace over greatness. May we be so full of joy in pursuit of Him that everything else seems secondary 🤍✨ https://bit.ly/UnexpectedCAP
6/13/202214 minutes, 5 seconds
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Episode 8: Millennial Influence: Finding Purpose & Facing Anxiety (With Shea Leigh Mills)

Shea Leigh Mills is a woman who wears a LOT of hats … an entrepreneur, a lifestyle & travel blogger, a trailblazer in the consumer/marketing space, and I would consider her an encourager to many… and by many I mean over half a million! In this episode, we sit down and discuss obedience in unexpected areas. As a fellow millennial, Shea Leigh and I get into the blessings of a platform as well as the responsibilities and anxieties that come with it. From cancel culture, to standing on Truth in the middle of it… this conversation is full of light and encouragement!
6/6/202233 minutes, 48 seconds
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Episode 7: Identity (Job's story)

There’s a song…one of me and my husband’s favorites… I won’t sing it for you but it goes like this: Sometimes it feels like this world’s spinning faster Than it did in the old days So naturally we have more natural disasters From the strain of a fast pace Sunday was a day of rest Now it’s one more day for progress And we can’t slow down ‘Cause more is less It’s all an endless process (Mayberry: Rascal Flatts) It’s an older song but more relevant today than ever before. Every line, hitting the nail on the head. It’s all true. The pace for progress is rapid. The demand for more? It’s astounding. Then you marry that accelerated pace with our habit of using use labels for everything and everyone. I honestly think it’s a way to quickly gauge what a person does. Then, that label somehow indicates what value they bring. It’s nothing, if not practical. Efficient, even. But what if I told you this tendency has begun to skew our idea of identity? What I’ve noticed… especially being around so many people in a high performance industry, is the tendency for people to confuse their identity with their career. In other words, many people tend to find their identity in what they DO or what Role they fill, rather than knowing WHO they are in relation to God and the world. We are so conditioned to perform for this world, we forget we have a personal identity that has nothing to do with what we “bring to the table”. As I thought about this message and how I wanted to share it with y’all, I felt God drop Job in my heart. Honestly, I’ve always kind of skimmed through the book of Job because I don’t love sad stuff and the whole thing is just FULL of sadness and loss. Depressing, really. But, at God’s gentle nudge, I began going over the story again and was amazed when I saw it as a story of identity rather than loss and hardship. Now, if I read the entire book of Job to y’all, we’d be here for hours…maybe even days! So, I’m going to give the cliff notes version today. I will, however, clip in the first chapter in this episode to give specific context. Job listens to God and asks for forgiveness. And at the end of the book, it is clear that Job recognizes his identity lies in who God says he is. His identity is a man created BY GOD, in God’s image, for God’s purpose… His identity, really, is subject to his creator. It wasn’t in the wealth or materials. It wasn’t in his title of “most influential man in all the East”. It wasn’t even in the role of husband or father. No. Job was, as we all are…a child of God. Chosen and created by Him. I’ll wrap up this whole saga by adding that God did restore Job. Not only was he restored but he was blessed with more than he had before…double, in fact! But I imagine one of the greatest gifts taken away from this whole ordeal was Job’s perspective of who he was in relation to God. There is great freedom, I think, in understanding your God-given identity apart from your role, vocation, or performance. I know this was a long piece to listen through today. But I pray that this story of terribly unexpected events leads you to consider a few things. Is your identity tied up in what you do? If all of your titles were taken; if all of your roles were stripped away…would you know who you are? Whether you are a stay at home mom, a working professional, or someone who finds themselves in a high performance world —like the entertainment industry… I want to encourage you today. Before you were anything else, you were a chosen child of God. It is the very core of you. And it’s an important distinction. Knowing your identity will keep you grounded in chaos… and it will protect you from fickle opinions in a critical world. Your identity in Christ will give you the freedom that nothing else ever could. Remember that, sweet friends, and savor the peace that follows…
5/30/202212 minutes, 58 seconds
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Episode 6: Thirst (The Story Of the Woman At the Well)

Growing up, I rarely remember seeing soda or any kind of coke or carbonated beverages in the house. We basically grew up on water and milk…annnd the occasional pitcher of Kool-aid. To this day, I am still not a coke drinker. I’ll choose water over tea OR soda OR lemonade any day. My reasoning has always been that water is the ONLY thing that quenches my thirst. I mean I remember grabbing Mt. Dews or Dr. Peppers at basketball games from time to time but they always made me thirstier! I’d have to follow up my snack and drink with a gulp of water at the fountain just to break the thirst. Now, this line of thinking took me down a rabbit trail… about thirst; what it is, and do why we have it. So I looked up the definition. Thirst: A sensation of dryness in the mouth and throat caused by need of liquid. The physical condition resulting from this need, in any of various degrees. Strong or eager desire; craving. I thought… Isn’t it interesting that water is the only thing that really satisfies that thirst? Water is pure. It is “the basis of the fluids of living organisms”. We were surrounded by it in the womb, and are predominately made up of it! Then, in comparison, you have cokes…with all that sugar and carbonation. With all the additives. Added, in fact, by man. Unnatural, if you will. And specifically, the ingredients in them are meant to create a desire for more and more. If you’ve lived any amount of life, you have probably noticed that consuming sugar makes you CRAVE more sugar. It becomes this cycle. And eventually it does become an addiction. And then I thought, this is a perfect parallel for sin in life. Or, to be more blunt, worldliness. (AKA: the things MAN makes for man rather than things God makes for man). Once we have a taste, we develop a desire for more and more. But the core need is never actually met. Worldliness often has the connotation of being an old ‘churchy’ word. So I took the liberty of looking up the definition. Worldly, as defined by dictionary.com, has several (but all similar) meanings. Reads: of or relating to this world as contrasted with heaven, spiritual life, etc.; earthly; mundane. Reads: Experienced; knowing; sophisticated. Reads: devoted to, directed toward, or connected with the affairs, interests, or pleasures of this world. I was actually surprised to read these! I feel like my generation specifically has done one of two things with this word. As I mentioned earlier, I feel like we have either taken a bit of offense over the use of a word we deem “antiquated” by the church, OR we have strived to become, as the second definition reads: experienced; knowing; and sophisticated.. to display a certain level of ‘success’ to the world. I know I used to fall into the first category myself and I have to say I’m a little embarrassed at never having fully understood that it literally means “In contrast with heaven”!! In fact, even as I began writing this piece, I initially described ‘worldliness’ in my own words as “the things man makes for man rather than the things God makes for man”. It’s not far off, but to read the definition “in contrast with heaven” really puts it into clearer perspective. Anyway, back to my train of thought on thirst…and how many try to quench it. Worldliness IS actually how most try to fill the need. Oftentimes it does appear to be harmless and sometimes it even looks like the answer to a ‘need’. Thirsty? Have a soda. You’ll crave more. Want attention? Post that photo on instagram. It won’t be long before you’re posting the next…trying to fill the ‘need’ for attention or validation. Sad? Medicate with substances until you feel better…for a time. But it’s never the cure for the REAL problem. You’re trying to fill a void and quench a thirst that only God can. It’s the same for money. It’s the same for fame or power or influence or any other construct that we chase - filling needs through worldly means. It just doesn’t work. Today, I’ll share a story from John 4.
5/23/202212 minutes, 23 seconds
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Episode 5: Through the Cracks (Ruth & Naomi's story)

I’m going to start out strong here and drop a favorite quote on you guys. Anita Krizzan once said, “God shines through the cracks of broken people.” I can’t tell you how much I love this. Have you ever noticed that the best people in your life are the ones who don’t have it all together? Perfection is a nice goal, I suppose, but even the thought of it wears me out. It isn’t realistic. And to be very honest, it isn’t relatable. My favorite people, the very BEST people I have come across in my life are the broken ones. The broken hearts and weary souls who know what it is to hurt and to fear and to struggle. These are my people. The ones I can sit down with and pour out my own flawed self to. There is no judgment in that place. There is safety and comfort in conversations between imperfect hearts who just need to feel like they aren’t alone. And in those precious honest moments God opens an opportunity for us to shine our lights for Him. Isn’t that amazing? God uses the struggle and the history of our lives to give us the very testimonies we can take out and share. Though the Bible is full of stories of brokenness, there is one that always comes to mind… story of Ruth. To be honest, the story is equally as compelling for Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law because they are both redeemed so beautifully. As a refresher, I’ll read the first chapter of Ruth to provide some context…. Now, because the book of Ruth is only four chapters total, I’ll stop here to commentate and fill in the rest. This story is sad right out of the gate. Naomi and her family left their homeland to seek refuge from a famine. They left everything behind…home, family, friends, and even land because they were starving. Shortly after they arrive, Naomi’s husband, Elimelech, dies. Can you imagine how devastated you’d be? To leave behind all you know, but at least you’re with your family. And then your husband dies. The only comfort Naomi had left were her two sons. They each married and time goes on for ten years. We don’t know what transpired in this time, but we can assume that Naomi did not have any grandchildren yet, as none were mentioned. We can also assume that her daughters-in-law were likely in their mid 20’s when her sons, Mahlon and Kilion died. (Remember, women were married at young ages in that day). Naomi has no blood family left. She is left in a foreign land with no protection and likely no source of income. She is also responsible for the welfare of her young daughters-in-law. She does what she feels is the most kind thing and tries to release them of their familial duties to go back to their homes with their own families. Bereft and broken. Bitter, in her own words. Naomi has nothing left. Flipping perspectives, we see Ruth. A young widow. She has no children and seemingly no hope of a future. Even in the midst of her own brokenness, though, she loves Naomi. She clings to her and refuses to leave her. Ruth is broken, but she surrenders her life and her future to the God Naomi follows. Vowing “your God is my God…” and “where you go, I go”. I find such beauty in this broken place. See, brokenness, in its purest form, leads to surrender. Even if she didn’t know it at the time, Ruth’s posture of surrender was preparing her for a future she could never have imagined for herself. Brokenness is a powerful tool. It is where strength is found and character is forged and relationships are formed. It is also where we meet surrender. Surrender to God and His purposes for it all. She gave it to Him, and He blessed her. And that is just what God will do with whatever brokenness you are carrying. He will bless your story at the moment of surrender… So today, I want to encourage you. Don’t feel the need to be perfect, sweet friends, your beauty is in your brokenness. And don’t hold on where you need to surrender…He is waiting on you, today. Embrace the unique cracks that are yours and shine His light through them.
5/16/202210 minutes, 49 seconds
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Episode 4: Chosen, Called, Beloved: Seeing God’s Hand In the Unexpected (with Stacy Maciuk)

On this very special episode of Unexpected with Hannah Love, we sit down to hear the story of Stacy Maciuk’s life. Taken into the foster care system at the tender age of three, Stacy shares about years of trauma and heartache as a foster child. In each unexpected moment, however, Stacy is able to point out the hand of God in the details. I was humbled to hear this story and marvel at the choice Stacy made not only to SEE God in it, but to USE it for the good. Despite her trials AND because of them, she became (and still is) a voice for those without one. Stacy was the victim of a broken system, but still, she chose to see God in it. She decided…who better to speak to something than the ones who have been through it themselves? Not only surviving, but becoming hugely successful as a college graduate who drove initiatives for change, worked on a former vice president’s campaign, became a professional strategist, a wife and mother, and STILL advocates for children without families, homes, or support. Stacy lived through some of the most unexpected and unimaginable hurtles in life and came out using her voice and her story for others. Her work and her story gives hope and makes change in countless lives today. I pray that all who listen to today’s episode are challenged to see God in your own unexpected.. You may even ask yourself, “Who can I help by sharing my story”? God likely carried you through some of those very seasons so you could be an advocate for others. I also pray that through Stacy’s story, you are reminded and encouraged that God wants to work ALL things together for the good. To those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. If you’d like to learn more about some of the organizations mentioned on this episode, please see the list of links below for more info! https://www.forothers.com https://www.tnkidsbelong.org
5/9/202255 minutes, 18 seconds
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Episode 3: No Box For You (Moses' story)

Once upon a time, I took an aptitude test and failed. Honestly. I didn’t even know it was possible to “fail” an aptitude test. Apparently, though, when the results are inconclusive, that’s what it’s considered. The goal was to pinpoint my strongest aptitudes and marry them with a career that matched my desire + skill set to pursue it. Instead, it made me feel like something was wrong with me. My results basically said, “there is no box to stick you in”. At the time, I was fresh out of college and looking for a suitable career, so image how defeating it was to hear they couldn’t even determine a good job fit for me! Through the years, though, I have thought about that failed test and I can’t help but smile. In it was a lesson and a reminder. I wasn’t made to fit into a box. And neither were you! Sometimes we can get so hung up on fitting in that we forget God never made us to. We were never meant for that. The moment you were conceived, God breathed a unique identity and specific calling into your spirit. He took precious care to form you in your mother’s womb with purpose and beauty. Incomparable to anyone else. If I had let myself be discouraged all those years ago, I would have listened to the world and settled for the title “failure”. Thankfully, I already knew that a test couldn’t tell me who I was or what I was qualified for. Only God did that. He still does. Now, let’s take it a step further and think about who, in the Bible, may have felt this way. Who felt like they didn’t fit into a box? Who felt like a failure? Although we could delve into a number of characters that God used throughout the Good Book, my first thought goes to Moses. Most of you are likely familiar with the story of the baby in the basket. The boy who was taken in by the daughter of Pharaoh, and later led God’s people out of Egypt to the Promised Land. But how often have you really put yourself in those shoes, (or, ahem…Sandles)? Today, I’ll read straight from scripture here so I don’t miss any high points. Beginning with Exodus 1: 8-22 MSG- …. After listening to his story, this is what we can conclude…Moses was an outcast, a murderer, and a man with a burden of feeling like he didn’t belong. He was sometimes afraid and even full of doubt. Moses was just a man. And God chose him. Despite his weaknesses and likely because of them. God chose him. Moses goes on to do tremendous things on behalf of God and His people. He goes on to perform signs and miracles, meet with God on the mountaintop, and deliver the 10 commandments to the nation of Israel. He goes down as a founding father of the Jewish people. Flawed? Sure. But also chosen and called. This man allowed God to use him as a leader for God’s glory and a rescuer of God’s children. If you find yourself in a complicated and unexpected season, I urge you to take a breath and get excited because chances are, these are the EXACT areas, the very seasons, God is using to refine you and your story for His purposes. Today, I want to remind you. You were called to be different and set apart. So the next time you’re tempted to believe what culture or people tell you about you, ask yourself if it lines up with what God has already told you about who you are. You are His child. Worthy and unconditionally loved. And that, is the only truth worth living by. 🤍✨
5/2/202213 minutes, 2 seconds
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Episode 2: You're Going to Have Critics (Noah's story)

Have you ever been scared of what people may think about you? So scared that you are silent? That you say nothing and do nothing for fear of offending? Most of us have probably been there. I was. Some days, I still am! But, in the last few years of my life, there has been a shift. I’m thankful for it. I listened to a sermon on this very point, once, (I wish I had written down who it was by)! It reminded me just how easy it is to fall into that place of fear. It also reminded me how to break away from it. Let me just share some of the the nuggets I jotted down that day: “If you are pursuing God’s calling on your life, you are going to have critics.” (Think - all the people who have discouraged you, laughed at you, or disheartened you in general by their lack of understanding and/or support). He goes on to say, “This is why the loudest voice in your life can’t be the critics. It has to be the voice of God. And the more intimate you are with God, the less intimidated you’ll be by the criticism of others. If you’re not living for the praise of other men, then you won’t die by their criticism…The more secure we are in the Father’s love, the less we let the insecurity of others rattle us.” True to form, you know I have to pull in a Biblical reference here of someone who listened to God over the criticism of men. You guessed it, it’s our guy: Noah. It may seem like a dramatic example. I mean, I feel like the things God asks us to do today may not be as large and visible as an actual Ark… but maybe that’s the perfect metaphor for how it feels. Big, intimidating, and unexplainable. One might even call it unexpected. Okay, lets get back to the meat of it: Aside from Adam and Eve, Noah is the first person the Bible notes as having “walked faithfully with God” - (Gen 6:9 NIV). Literally. It’s the first mention of God peaking to someone in the Bible since Adam. Now that I’m thinking about it, it doesn’t surprise me that the Bible kicks off with the story of Noah. It represents a theme that has been prevalent from the beginning of time. Listening to God’s voice. And more importantly, obeying it. In this episode, I’ll read directly from the Bible to give some context. Beginning in Genesis, chapter 6: 5-22. After listening to the story, you’ll see that Moses did listen to God’s voice and he was obedient. Likely in the face of mockery. Likely for DECADES…maybe even up to 120 years (although the exact time it took to construct the ark is up for debate). Can you imagine standing in the face of heavy criticism for over one hundred years? Not just standing, but acting in obedience despite it! If I had to take a guess, I’d say he was called every name in the book, starting with crazy and deranged! But Noah’s obedience resulted in blessing and favor. It resulted in life and a chance that no other person would have in his lifetime or ever again. And isn’t that how we should view our own obedience? As something only we can say “yes” to? As something that no other person may ever the opportunity to experience but YOU?! At the end of the day, the loudest voice I need to hear is that of God. Not the critics. So, if you are listening to this, and it touches your heart like it did mine - be encouraged. Be encouraged that you can break away from the fear of criticism and find peace in One whose opinion is the only one that matters. You are full of purpose. And you have the power to touch lives with your voice of honesty and faith.
4/25/20228 minutes, 15 seconds
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Episode 1: Purpose (Hannah's story)

Purpose. We find it in different places and different things. It does not define us.. But it does motivate us to keep going. Motherhood has done that for me. Maybe for you, too. Unlike careers and the pursuit of more, motherhood anchors the soul. From the moment that perfect little person enters your world, you will do everything in your power to love them well. You will help them grow. You will encourage their hearts, fill their spirits, and remind them Whose they are and how much they are loved. You will protect them from what you can. You will teach them kindness by showing it yourself. You will cry with them and you will cry for them. You will laugh with them and marvel at the joy they bring. I try to do these things. And when the day is done, and we lay our babies down, I pray over them. It is as much a reminder to myself as it is my declaration to God. I say these words.. “God, thank You for all that You have given us. Never let us forget that it is all Yours and not our own. That includes these children. Just like we are Your children, they are Yours. Help us to raise them in a way that is pleasing to You, God. Give us the wisdom and the grace to live our lives as examples to them..” This is just a version of the prayer we pray often over our boys. Depending on the day and the circumstance, this act of surrender can be the hardest thing we’ll ever do. But we do it. Over and over. And that is motherhood. It is the perfect picture of our posture of surrender. In truth, it shouldn’t just be in motherhood, but our posture to God over EVERY aspect of our lives. Motherhood just happened to open my eyes to it. I often think of Hannah in the old testament. Her heart was one of surrender. Truly, her heart was a broken one. But, as I’ve noted before, brokenness leads to surrender. Hannah was a strong woman. It takes strength to surrender. Imagine longing your whole life for a child. Indeed, some of you may have or may still be. It takes strength to surrender the unknown to God. And even more, to surrender the prayers He answers…back to Him. The source from which your miracle comes. But know this: There is no safer place to be than IN the will of God. Hannah bore a son and dedicated him the God who gave him to her. Her purpose was in raising him up on a foundation of Truth. Her purpose was in surrendering Samuel to become a priest. Not just any priest, but the priest who would anoint the first two kings of Israel. She was obedient to surrender. She let her son go to be a voice for Truth…the very Truth she founded before him. Samuel plays a prominent role in the old testament as a leader who does whatever is in God’s heart and mind. All because Hannah answered her purpose with obedience: surrendered. No matter what walk of life you’re on or what season you’re in, this is a principal that ties unequivocally to God’s purposes for us. Surrender is the very act of answering God’s purpose with obedience. And because of this, our purpose will evolve as our obedience deepens. Much like our changing roles in life…child, daughter, wife, or mother, grandmother or mentor… we mature. God’s intention is that we do the same; spiritually. Stepping into each role with a posture of surrender to whatever He is asking us to do. You never know, you could be raising the voice of Truth for the next generation. Thank you to our sponsor! Anchor: Download the free Anchor app or go to Anchor.fm to get started.
4/18/20229 minutes, 23 seconds