Everybody Hurts, Sometimes… You Should Do it in Community | Ep 33

Hurts

In this week’s episode we open with Bruce making fun of Thomas’ wife’s, Angy, cross wall. Thomas said Bruce was hurting his feelings, which was the perfect segway into this week’s topic.

This week we are talking about hurt. Specifically, we discuss the fact that if we chose to live in authentic Gospel Centered Community with others, we can expect to be hurt and come face-to-face with other people’s hurts.

Your Hurts and Community

There isn’t a lot of show notes for this topic. Let’s leave it at this.

Community is a great place to come and put your hurt on the table. By doing so, it allows those closest to you to take it off the table and help you carry it. Community is also a great place to grieve with those that are hurting. And, Community is the perfect place to experience Jesus, find healing for your hurts and help others heal.

photo: Carla Covers

Does Loneliness Cause Us to Make Poor Relationship Decisions? | Ep 32

loneliness

With St. Valentine’s Day being just two days ago, this is easily one of the most lonely weeks for some. Mostly because everything surrounding this holiday involves being with someone you love. But, not everyone has someone. In fact, so many deal with loneliness. Not only do we have to deal with loneliness, we often struggle through different levels of loneliness. It’s this loneliness that causes us to seek out relationships with others and can often lead to unhealthy decisions surrounding who we spend time with and who we chose to commit ourselves to.

That’s what we’re talking about in this episode. Thomas mentioned the importance of understanding the role that loneliness plays in bringing us to church, drawing us into a dating relationship and eventually marriage. We go on to talk about how being lonely can be the foundation we use to make excuses to allow ourselves to consider divorce as an option. So, let’s talk about being lonely…

Why are Christians Lonely?

We talked about a couple different reasons. The bigger reason lies within the separation created from Adam and Eve’s fall in the Garden of Eden. That event created a gap in our relationships that we have been trying to close ever since.

The other reason is a bit closer to home and, we believe, has to do with the way that mainstream (institutional) church is structured. Unfortunately, church, as a system, does not often lend itself to offering authentic and close relationships. Some of the loneliest Christians are those sitting among a 2,000 person congregation. Sadly, the way we structure traditional church actually feeds the needs of the organization, but fails to fulfill the needs of the organisms within the walls.

So people come to church hoping for connection and believing they will find it in the group. But, when the superficiality of that connection becomes evident, they decide that maybe the group isn’t intended for connection and their loneliness convinces them that they can find fulfillment in an individual. So they find someone, and date, then marry… even if they don’t get along with the person, being with someone is better than being alone. Until it isn’t.

The Second Level of Loneliness

The second level of lonely occurs after marriage. It often comes with the realization that the person you married cannot fill that desire for connection. Really only God can, but at this point you’re less concerned with that and more concerned with how to get out of the misery. This is typically when people, who may have never previously considered divorce, talk themselves into it being the “only way” or the “best decision for everyone involved”. So we ignore the bible and do what we feel will alleviate our suffering. (To be fair, sometimes divorce may be a necessary thing. We’re not broad stroke painting divorce.) 

God Doesn’t Leave

God’s message to everyone, all the time is, “I will never leave you.” We may feel alone, but if we’re in Christ, we’re not; in fact, it’s impossible for us to be. God’s word is clear…

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6

A Note to Singles (But really to the church)

Church, two things.

  1. Stop expecting single people to figure out where they fit into the body. Go find them and welcome them in.
  2. Stop making marriage the highest form of worship or holiness or whatever we make it. There’s a ton to this, but stop acting like the thing singles should aspire to is marriage. Just invite them in and be companionship for them.

 

Mentioned in the show:

Gene Edwards: The Divine Romance

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photo: El Espejo Gotico

Are We Reading Two Different Bibles? The Compassion vs Safety Conversation | Ep 31

refugee

Without question, for many of us, the past few weeks have been difficult to navigate. The recent Immigration Ban has sparked numerous debates and arguments. Mostly between those for the ban, in the name of safety, and those desiring to provide refugee aid, in the name of compassion.  For us at The (G)odd Show, the biggest things that confuses us is the when Christians engage in this argument.

Not in the Bible

We hear Christians arguing two sides; one being the need for increased border security for the sake of our safety and the other being the need to compassionately care for refugees. Our problem is, when we read bible we don’t see an emphasis on our personal safety. Instead, we see page after page calling for an exceedingly compassionate response to caring for the foreigner, refugee and sojourner. So our question is, how are we arguing about what the biblical response to this issue should be?

Being Honest

Legitimately we don’t have an issue with people being concerned about our safety in this country. The world has become a scary place; safety should be a top concern of our government. All we’re saying is maybe be honest about the situation. If a Christian were to tell me that regardless of what the bible says about caring for the refugee, but their agenda regarding safety was more important, I would accept that. At that point I couldn’t fault them for their honesty, our conversation about the issue would be over and we could move one. Unfortunately the typical response, for many concerned with safety, is that it isn’t a biblical issue. For us, there isn’t much that is more biblical than caring for the least of these.

In the end it comes down to honesty. It’s has to do with being honest about what your priorities are, what you feel God saying to you and how you interpret His word.

Join us as we talk through it. As always, this is a conversation and we would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

 

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Photo: The American Mirror

 

What Community are You Talking About? | Ep 30

community

For the better part of 5 years, Thomas and I have been talking about church outside of the four walls of a building. We have fleshed the process out quite a bit. Thomas has even had the opportunity to implement some of it. And, over the past year of this podcast, we have thrown the word “community” around quite a bit. So we decided it was time that we explain what we mean when we talk about community.

The Community We Teach

We teach a purpose toward ministry called, “Gospel Centered Community” (GCC) and a method of ministry called, “Gospel Centered Missional Community” (GCMC).

In a nutshell, GCC as a heart for intentionally living toward others. And if GCC is an intent to live toward others, GCMC is the missional outworking of that intent. A big focus of GCMC is making disciples who make disciples.

Practically speaking, the focus of GCC is on receiving the love of God and and the focus of GCMC is on revealing the love of God.

Gospel Centered Community (GCC)

This a body of committed believers, connected by a shared purpose and vision to see Jesus glorified and who challenge each other into deeper relationships with Jesus and one another.

Gospel Centered Missional Community (GCMC)

This is the practical outworking of GCC and is focused on cultivating disciples who make connected disciples.

In the coming weeks I plan to release a five-week series, on my personal BLOG, that lays out the process I plan on working though to build this type of community. Soon after that, we’ll have an ebook to accompany it.

Train a Child Up and the Real Way They Should Go | Ep 29

Train a Child

Train a Child

This week we are back on the serious topics train. And when I say serious, that doesn’t mean there is no joking involved. There’s always joking, mostly. This week we are discussing parenting. More specifically we want to talk about what it means to train a child. Even more specifically we are addressing Proverbs 22:6 which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

What if they don’t go?

We do not really have a problem with using Prov 22:6 as a verse to guide our parenting principles. Our issue is when that scripture is used as a guide from an Old Testament context. When that proverb was written the Israelites parents would have understood it to be directing them to teach their children the OT law. Contextually they would have believed that obedience to the law would have maintained them on the righteous path and kept them in favor with God. Subsequently they would have taught their children every letter of the law. That proverb would be tied, in parallel, to Deuteronomy 6:7 which said, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

The issue with taking this context is what to do with that scripture if your child does depart from it. I know enough people that really tried to raise their children to understand the Bible, go to church and know God, and some of those kids still quit going to church. When that happens, from an OT context, you have two possible considerations. Either you didn’t train them the way you should have or the bible was wrong? Obviously neither of those can be true. So what do we do with it then?

A New Testament View

Without giving the entire episode away, there is a way that allows our children to experience and take responsibility for their own relationship with God. It has to do with Jesus. But you’ll need to check out the episode to get the rest.

I will say this… The OT view places emphasis on training by telling, while the NT places emphasis on training by showing (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Links:

Phil Vischer

Skye Jethani

Does Christian Entertainment have to be so Bad? | Ep 28

Christian Entertainment

Every episode we have talked about pretty serious stuff, but not for this episode! For this episode we wanted to have a little fun. And what is more fun that Christian entertainment? Well, some of it is. Really we ask the question, why is Christian entertainment so bad, so often? Do we have to watch it? We aren’t saying that it is all bad or even that it is made that way on purpose.

Is it possible to produce content that appeals to a larger audience while still sharing the message of Christ.

*Toby Mac Warning*

If you are a Toby Mac fan, just know that while we appreciate his long time talent and the time he has spent in the music industry, we’re not huge fans. We might make fun of him a little (please don’t tell him) and call him not a great rapper. Also, if you follow Joel Osteen, we make fun of him #SorryNotSorry.

Christian Entertainment

Here’s a list (and links) of people and movies we mention.

Christian Actors

Kurt Cameron

Kevin Sorbo

Jim Caviezel

Shia Labouf (?)

Andrew Garfield (?)

Christian Musicians

Toby Mac

Pete Stewart (Grammatrain)

B. Reith

Dre Murray

Christian Bands

DC Talk

Jars of Clay

Insiderz #SkasNotDead

OC Supertones

Stryper

Audio Adrenaline

U2

Newsboys

Christian Creators

Phil Vischer, Jellyfish Labs

Christian Music Promoters

Rapzilla

Christian Movies/TV Shows

Fireproof (Movie)

Left Behind (Movie)

Facing the Giants (Movie)

God’s Not Dead (Movie)

Courageous (Movie)

Veggie Tales (TV)

What’s in the Bible (Internet/DVD)

Christian News (Satire)

Babylon Bee

Secular Movies/TV Shows/Plays

Boy Meets World

A Very Potter Musical

Silence

Noah

Secular Musicians

Chance The Rapper

Kanye West

Talib Kweli language warning

Mos Def language warning

Kendrick Lamar

photo: God’s Not Dead Trailer

g(O)dd Couple: Selfishness, Unity & Social Media | Ep 27

MarriageWe decided to continue with the marriage topics, because we had a long list of them. But, this time it’s just Thomas and Bruce. I know we’re not married, but we’re kinda married. Think Turk and JD from the TV show Scrubs and you have us (of course, without the doctor stuff and cool theme music, but we are working on theme music).

As funny as most things are to us, we chose a few pretty serious topics. The topics we selected are selfishness, unity and social media.

Selfishness

We all know, and most would agree, that selfishness will quickly ruin a marriage. Unfortunately it isn’t until we get married that we realize just how selfish we can be. The hope, however, is that we can move from a place of selfishness to a place where it is “us” against the world. Left unchecked, selfishness can lead to asking dangerous questions about whether or not your marriage is what you “signed up for.”

Unity

The second topic we discussed was unity. In the beginning of every marriage, as selfishness is undone every marriage should be moving toward unity. But unity takes continued work and dedication.

Social Media

The last topic we talk about is social media’s impact on marriage. Social media can easily be a point of tension, but if you are focused on building trust and unity, it doesn’t have to be.

In the end, selfishness is easy, unity takes work, but is the best, and social media can, but doesn’t have to be, a slippery slope.

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Photo: Panda Whale

g(O)dd Couple: Step-Parenting, Depression & Prayer | EP 26

coupleWelcome to the second couple’s episode! In this episode Thomas and Angy tackle new topics having to do with marriage. Step-parenting, depression and prayer are all pretty serious and can easily be a point of tension in any marriage, but Thomas and Angy address them with a gentle wisdom that makes each issue approachable.

And again, while Thomas and Angy are not experts in marriage, or any of these issues, they do have 16 years of wedded bliss. That 16 years has allowed them to live through and discover healthy ways of viewing and dealing with each of these issues.

Step-Parenting

At 19 years old, Thomas had became a husband and father in the same instance. When he said “I do” to Angy, he was also saying it to two small children. Although Thomas and Angy had talked broadly about parenting well in their newly blended family, they never really talked about what that meant. One of Thomas’ main struggles was not understanding his responsibility for his new children and what that meant as they grew into adults.

Depression

This is a really sensitive topic and Angy gets deeply personal in sharing her struggle with anxiety and depression.The stigma attached to depression, especially within Christianity, can make it difficult to acknowledge and easy to dismiss. But we cannot. Thomas and Angy provide some great ideas for how to approach the issue. And as always, make sure you seek professional help.

Prayer

Every healthy couple has to pray together, twice a day, every day, right? Not according to Thomas and Angy. In fact, their best advice is just make sure you are praying and make sure that you talk about what works for you as a couple.

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g(O)dd Couple: Coitus, Comparing & Communication, but First, Dating… | Ep 25

coupleWe thought it would be fun to a couple’s episode, well a couple couple’s episodes. This week my wife, Sarah, and I will discuss a few issues and next week Thomas and his wife, Angy, will discuss some.

In this episode Sarah and I tackle some pretty important, and touchy, subjects. We are not experts in marriage, but we have been through alot, sought counsel from wise married couples and have done our best to follow Jesus in a way that brings Him glory and honor. In all that, we have learned a thing or two.

Dating

All I’ll say on this is, the longer you can date, and maintain the purity of relationship and respect and honor for each other, then do it. The longer you are able to date, then the deeper you will know each other and the more emotional, spiritual and intellectual intimacy you are able to build.

Sexpectations

The most important part about this is that you have these conversations early and often. If you have baggage surrounding sexual issues, get help by talking to someone. Sex is the physical expression of intimacy built in those all those other areas of intimacy.

Comparison

Comparing yourselves, as a couple, to other couples can be a very damaging thing. It can easily lay the groundwork for resentment. Sarah said, “Comparison is the sister to envy.” Comparison can be healthy when we use it as a point of reference rather than a model to follow.

Communication

Communication as a couple is critical. As a couple we should be looking to learn how to communicate in healthy ways. Part of that healthy communication is learning to speak your spouse’s language. I’m not talking about learning their literal language, although if your spouse speaks Spanish and you don’t learning their would probably help communication. I’m talking about learning their love language. It is good to know what your love language is, but better to know theirs, as it helps in you serving them.

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Why Do I Need to Find “My People” | Episode 24

People

All sorts of things come to mind when someone says the phrase, “my people.” Over the last few months Thomas and I have been talking about how important, to building a thriving community, “finding your people” is. In this episode we talk about why you need to find yours. In later episodes we plan to cover the where and how of the whole thing.

All Walks

Finding your peeps is important in nearly every walk of life, if you desire fullness. Whether it is for a hobby or building a team for a business venture, finding your people is necessary. In the context of this episode we specifically address the necessity of finding your people to build Gospel Centered Community.

Who Are Your People

Your people are those that have a desire to move in the same direction as you. They are the ones that value the same stuff, although you do not have to be in total agreement with each other on everything. In fact, it is typically not beneficial, counterproductive even, to agree 100% on 100% of issues. Instead, your crowd wants to move in the same direction as you toward weightier issues. Again, in the context of this episode, we are talking about those Christians that deeply desire Christ and building a committed community with other Christians in a way that drives them deep into Christ and each others’ lives.

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image: ibiblio.org